People who live in teepees also wear sandals and eat lentils. People who live in a big house, also have fast cars and clever accountants. Some of this may be true of some people, alternatively some of this may just be the perceptions of others. Either way, the message is clear, one assumption can often add up to more, until we are certain that we are poles apart and have nothing in common.
Lets meet on the middle ground then. Well that can be problematic too, it’s either a place of compromise – not always seen as a good thing, so wishy washy as to be meaningless or just plain fudge (incidentally, I’ve always liked a lot of fudge!)
‘Teepees’ give us somewhere to gather, to form a tribe. We can be fairly certain that at these gatherings, others will share similiar values and beliefs about the world to our own. It gives us a refuge in which to seek comfort, validation of our beliefs and support from others.
Post General Election tribes have become very visible (and again year or so later with the EU Referendum), as this tweet from @Number10cat put it, commenting on people protesting about the return of David Cameron – ‘looks like some of the big society have turned up at Downing St’.
So where does all this leave us personally? Do we find our tribe, stay on the sidelines or take a pragmatic view depending upon the issue? The politics we play with ourselves, largely depends upon how much personal power we believe we have. On the other hand in the public arena, politics with a ‘P’ gives those in ‘Power’ an opportunity to exercise it wisely on behalf of us all, or to revert to promoting sectional interests – overt or covert.
The Big Society of which @Number10cat speaks formed part of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement from 2010, which aimed to take power away from the politicians and instead to give it to the people. Though it was later taken up as a phrase synonymous with Coalition hypocrisy, in certain quarters.
If we are to be ‘big’, either within our own personal spheres or within society as a whole, I suggest that we do need to decide what we believe in and what is important – to the point that we are prepared to take a stand over it. Once we are clear then yes, go take your teepee and find your tribe, but do use your power wisely when you meet the teepees and tribes of others, over there. Thank you for reading.
Over to you…do you have personal power, does it help you to be part of a tribe and what do you do when you come across the tribes of others? Do reply, by sharing in the Comments below. Thank you 🙂