Why doing the opposite is sometimes the best thing you can do
Being part of a tribe feels great and can elevate the group and its team members to new heights. Issues arise when the tribe excludes diversity(Click to tweet this). What I mean by that is that it is very easy to no longer include significantly different point of views. The best thing to do is to hang out with folks that have a totally different opinion. Your own understanding of any subject matters gets enriched and deepened.
The effect of getting disconnected from reality can be likened to a pretty well-known experiment where a frog sits in a pot of water on a stove top. It starts with cold water and the heat is put on. The frog eventually boils to death. It has no frame of reference due to the incremental temperature change. Putting a frog into hot water right at the beginning, would have let the frog jump out right away.
Not that our tribes boil to death or anything, but we have the tendency to congregate with like-minded people. The more of the same messages and beliefs we hear, the more we feel justified in all doing and thinking the same. The level of sameness applies not only to thoughts and beliefs. Clothes, housing, schools, work, where we hang out in our free time, music, etc are very much determined what tribe we belong to. We are just drawn to this. It feels great to belong and to be loved.
That is where the cookie crumbles: A lack of diversity and a different point of view can weaken your tribe. Here we are prone to overlook other people and becoming prejudiced is among the ugliest of outcomes. We are no longer connected to reality.
Not too long ago I finished evening college. I have been raised Lutheran and was very much not looking forward to the religion classes at a local catholic university. What would this be like? I was afraid that I would not like it. Thanks to my top notch professors I learned so much about the catholic faith that the whole experience left me speechless: Through the open dialog we all learned so much about our different faiths. It made everyone better off.
In fact, I believe the folks that only go to church will know little more than church dogma and that is really not all there is to faith and spirituality. What amazed me the most about the experience was that I would have never chosen to listen to the other “tribe” had this been my choice from the get go. I had been forced to attend because of having to complete this class in order to get a degree. In hind-sight have to admit that it was a total blessing.
In some schools they have mix-it-up-days from time to time. During lunch break students are to site with totally different grades and classes. What happens is phenomenal. Students learn that other students are kids that are just like them. Young people with dreams, angst, desires, etc. Cliques get shaken up a bit and barriers are broken down. Bullying goes down and with it the risk of suicide.
Now apply this knowledge to yourself for a little while. Think of the tribes that you either choose to be part of, or that you have no other choice to work with. Ponder how easy it would be to stand, sit, work, meet, and hang out with people that take a totally opposite angle on life. You will be better of in the long run. I know I have been blessed beyond measure this way.