Saturday, July 17, 2010

What South Dakota Got Me Thinking About Tribe & Community

As I drove through the rolling hills of South Dakota this past week I couldn't help but let my imagination run wild.  In the state where one of my favorite movies Dances with Wolves was shot, I found the scenic eye candy that was offered with each mile spurred my imagination in ways that are hard to explain.

One of the thoughts that kept running through my mind was how the Indians of the area lived back in the day.  How they struggled to find the elusive buffalo to feed the members of the tribe.  How they protected themselves against the heat of the summer and the cold of the winters on such open and at times inhospitable conditions.  How they must have battled to protect themselves against other tribes who wanted what they had.  And ultimately how long before western settlers or the U.S. Military set foot on their lands how their little communities survived.

As I stared out through the endless plains I managed to let my mind to see spots that could have been their settlements.  I wondered what it took to develop a tribe?  How the simple survival of their tribe depended on every member's effort and how that effort was anything but simple. How it must have been a true example of dedicated teamwork and commitment and that was just to survive.

Of course I am oversimplifying and I am sure my imagination does not do the actual experience any justice of what conditions were that the Indians faced day in and day out.  But the tribe mentality is something I think we could all learn from.  In fact when creating real community amongst our connections there are many lessons that could be learned.

Community won't survive without everyone's full participation.

No individual is more or less valuable than anyone else in the tribe.

The effort of one must benefit the collective needs of the community.

Tribes fight to protect what they have when they are called to do so.

Communities appreciate what they have and find opportunities to celebrate it often.

Tribes without people who step up to lead will certainly perish.

Communities need an influx of new ideas often brought about with period leadership change.

Tribes are communities of people who've come together with a common purpose.

Communities are tribes of people who've come together to build real value in the relationships they have forged in the hearts and minds of it's people.

Tribes and communities aren't necessarily unique to one another.  In fact I think that they are very similar in almost every aspect. But no matter what title or distinction you give your tribe or community of connections, remember in the end it still all comes back to connections.  And the strength of those connections are very necessary to insure it's very survival.  You as a Rippler play a big part in that you know. 

So says the Chief Rippler!

Ripple On!!!

1 comment:

Maria Gatling said...

Very interesting post Steve! Put very simply and with such importance of everyone working together. Time doesn't change this concept. Good to see you're having a good time!