On Finding Your Tribe:
A very smart one somewhere once said,
Community-building and innovation is there for anyone who feels driven to act. The power to be thought leaders rests within each of us, especially when seeking ways to create the support we need.
That someone may or may not have been me. (It was.) There are many of us out there who just want to feel like we belong. The question is why do we sometimes feel like we have to sit all alone and wait for that sense of belonging to just magically appear to us? Well, the answer is that we don’t have to wait. We can be active in creating the community of support that we need to feel around ourselves.
A smart one somewhere else said,
If you build it, he will come.
(That wasn’t me.) We can build the support that we need, and others out there–if they hear us calling–will come. Then maybe none of us will feel quite so alone.
The Internet is a very big place, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and miss whole communities of support. Conversely, the support that we need might be in a channel that seems so narrow that it feels like we don’t exactly “fit” within groups that are similar to, yet still different from our own situations. We might need to build support communities make the support we need come to us.
We all have the ability to take active steps to find our Tribes–people who are in a unique situation and group together to find support on common ground.
- Maybe you’ve started a message board for parents of children with a particular illness or disability.
- Perhaps you’re a looking for others who are also trying to cope with an abusive spouse.
- You might want to create a blog roll just for writers who have a parent or spouse who have recently come out and admitted to being gay.
- It could be that you’ve started a group blog for people coping with an alcoholic or drug-addicted family member. Maybe you are the one fighting an addiction and want to support others.
- You might want to connect to other infertile people who are faced with the conflict of wanting to continue treatments while their spouse would rather stop.
Whatever your needs are, there is support out there. You only need either call out for it or create it. A mysteriously-creepy voice in the middle of a cornfield won’t do it for you.
This is what Finding Your Tribe is all about.
My vision is for this corner of my blog to be used as sort-of a megaphone or a bulletin board. It’s a place where you can come to call a shout out into what feels like a lonely void and hope that there is someone who hears it and calls back, “I’m here, too.”
How Finding Your Tribe Works:
- Submit an Announcement: You have a group, message board, listserv, Website, etc that you’ve started and would like to share. OR, you are looking for the existence of a particular group/support community. Your Announcement will be posted on the following Monday.
- Tribe Announcements: Tribe Announcements will be updated every Monday. You never know what new Tribes or other Announcements you’ll find. Through the week, the comments on the Tribe Announcements will be open for any related questions, answers, and/or discussions.
- Tribe List: If you have created a Tribe and would like to have it listed, you can find it here. Also, if you’re looking for particular types of Tribes, you can peruse the list to see if you find anything that might fit your needs.
Spread the Word:
Help spread the word about Find Your Tribe. Tweet it. Facebook it. Post it. Stumble it. Grab a button. You might not need support, but someone who reads you might. If you are in need of some sort of support and are looking for or have created a community to help yourself find that support, you never know who else you might help in the process. The more voices we have calling out, that the more likely you and others will find the support they need.
Here’s the button. ( I know there is a way to do a “grab button” box of sorts. I’ve done it before, but some reason it always takes a mouthful of foul words and an hour to get it to work right. As of now, it is 3 a.m. and I’m supposed to get up in three hours and be lucid. Ain’t happening. I’ll make the grab button code later when I am lucid. For now, please just save the button, upload it to your blog, then link it to this post. WORD).
Find your tribes, people. The support is out there.