Did you know that in the 1700’s, before the Revolutionary War, there was a significant one-way migration of English settlers to live with the Native Americans? Or that PTSD may be exacerbated by a loss of community and belonging that soldiers develop while in harm’s way?
In a world where we seem to be growing less connected emotionally and spiritually, New York Times Best-Selling Author of “The Perfect Storm” Sebastian Junger has written a thought-provoking and welcome book called “Tribe” that explores the concepts of community, connection, and camaraderie in modern-day society.
Whether it was the London bombings in World War 2, or devastating earthquakes last century in South America, or Americans responding to 9/11, adversity returns us to our primal need for community and belonging. We’ve all experienced the profound emotions brought on by a community crisis, and the satisfaction and reward of helping others as well as ourselves during those times.
Tribal societies value camaraderie, unselfishness, self-sacrifice, and loyalty to the greater good. These same traits appear in times of crisis. In particular, soldiers in battle zones return to those values and often feel lost when they return home to safety. This may be an underlying contributor to PTSD, depression, and even suicide experienced by many veterans.
The beauty and the tragedy of the modern world is that it eliminates many situations that require people to demonstrate commitment to the collective good.
Tribe is an insightful look into our own feelings of isolation and dissatisfaction, and in the end, reminds us that it is better to give than to receive. It doesn’t require catastrophe for us to re-align our actions and motives to help others and work for the greater good.
Review written by: Larry Pollack
Pair It With:
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey: A delicious, but slightly sweet whiskey. Great on the rocks or neat as a delicious sippable drink.