Charles Darwin Offline

31 Male from Gainesville       144
         

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Tribalism

So, the president of the United States of America said a couple days ago that freedom of the press, the First Amendment to the Constitution, is a "disgusting" thing. It's a shame that primal tribalism has infected our country so much lately that we can't even stand united together and condemn an assault on fundamental American rights.

Why it happens is understandable. It's human nature to break off into groups (or "tribes", if you will) based on religion, political ideology, race, age/generation, favorite football team, etc. Understanding that this happens (and why) is crucial when trying to figure out how to defeat it within ourselves.

It's all about where you draw the boundaries around your in-group. Do you feel like Republicans are "the enemy"? Do you think liberals are the cause of all this country's problems? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you probably have a mental cancer, clouding your judgement. This tribalism is at the core of just about every issue causing division in the country (and more broadly, the world). You take a side and see those who don't agree with you as the enemy, and you feel like you're at war simply because they exist and speak their minds. You think THEY are the problem, and so you fight. Your fighting IS the problem.

We should strive to draw a larger circle around the "in-group" in our minds by focusing more on being an American, or a human, vs a conservative/liberal, white/black or whatever other narrow and less important category there is.

That's not to say that you can't speak your mind about these issues and take a stance. But when you try to spark fights by calling people names rather than engaging in serious, constructive conversation, your tribalism is causing people to retreat further into their tribalism, and you're part of the problem.

"If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change."