Don’t shoot arrows, just compromise

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Scientists tell us that at a point in the development of the human species, we all lived in separate tribes and family clans.

It was a time of very difficult existence they say. Our ancestors were hunter/gatherers that roved constantly in a never-ending quest for the necessities of life. There were horrendous battles for fields of wild barley, desirable females/males, wild game, etc.

They named their tribe and vowed to kill all members of the other tribes in an effort to protect their territory and preserve their politics. In some cases, no marriages were allowed to members of the other tribes. In some isolated groups, incest was practiced that limited their gene pool. A term used generally to describe this system of awful behavior is “Tribalism.” It was a low point in the evolution of man that we do not wish to recall.

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Tribalism is alive and well today, however. I see current examples of the white tribe versus the black tribe, the Democrat tribe against the Republican tribe, even the Baptist tribe being antagonistic to the Catholic tribe, etc. I see the Ferriday pool tribe pitted against the swimming pool council tribe; and so it goes.

These are needless conflicts that would make everyone’s life so much better if these tribes would just try to understand the opposing tribe and respect their beliefs and come to a compromise.

Most all issues can be resolved, but it must be done through compromise. Shooting arrows at the other tribe only brings about a flurry of returning arrows from them. Holding out and/or walking away resolves nothing. Life is all about what is your fair share and what have you attained by working for it.

Politicians were once elected to carry on the work for the good of their electorate. They worked together for the betterment of their fellow citizens. Today, it seems, the liberal tribe is automatically against the conservative tribe and very little, if any, progress is being made. There are other mindless, tribal beliefs that also contribute to their collective ineffectiveness.

Can’t we break free from this ingrained tribalism? Is it not stupid for us to hang on to the fact that we are a member of the “X” tribe and that we automatically hate the “Y” tribe?

Because there are so many of us now on this small planet, we are continually coming into contact with each other. We must realize that we are, in fact, one huge, single, group called the human tribe. It is no longer possible to kill the other tribe in defense of our beliefs or for a wild barley field, because we are they. If we slay them, we slay us.

If you are in a group that is opposing another group, try snapping yourself back to reality. Place the word “tribe” at the end of the your name and that of the other group. Then, compromise.