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A Relationship Story – Learning from Our Tribes

I want to urge each of you to think about the people in your tribes.  What do they mean to your growth and evolution?  Let me share an example of mine:

Every year, I spend a whirlwind five days with a group of my best friends, experiencing a ridiculous amount of culture and inspiration with Major League Baseball as a centerpiece.  Sleep is at a minimum and is traded off for more experiences – it’s a ton of fun and memories.  It also teaches all of us a lot about each other as well as about ourselves.

At the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa in 2015, on the 25th anniversary of when four of us first visited this hallowed ground.

These friends and I all love experiencing things like new ballparks – three on this trip (and even the former locations of ballparks gone by), the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Henry Ford Museum, the Motown Museum, the glorious Field of Dreams based on the truly inspiring (at least for baseball fans) 1989 film, and even a quick stop at the crash site memorial for Buddy Holly and “the day the music died.”

However, we need to ask ourselves why we devote so much time to this and why our wives are all happy to have us do these wacky things with our buddies.  In thinking about my reasons, I realize that these guys are one of my most important tribes and I have a true need to commit to spending time with these great people.

Each of us is insatiably curious and feels the need to expand our understanding of things we consider important – we are all continuous learners and passionate lovers of life, culture and community.   Each of us feels drawn to being around each other and to growing through the shared passion for learning and experiencing new things…and it has been going on for 25 years and we’re now talking about the 50th anniversary in 2040!

However, all of that is what we learn “with” our tribe, not “from” our tribe (besides the incessant exchange of trivial detail about everything).

I believe that this tribe has found a special way to gain new insights from each other.  You see, this tribe is comprised of very different people in terms of backgrounds, professional experiences, personal interests (beyond baseball) and political/religious beliefs.  Spending time together helps us all see how much we have in common versus focusing on our differences, although discussing our opinions across many things including normally “hot button” issues (the group includes three conservatives and three liberals) creates an even greater mutual understanding and level of trust between us.

I believe it is the trust between us that truly allows us to learn from each other.  I wish for you the opportunity to embrace the value of your own tribes and how they enrich your life.

Thanks for sharing time with me; as always, I welcome your feedback.  Please feel free to pass this message along to others who may find value.