Adopted strangers: Finding your tribe

tribe : noun:  \ˈtrīb\

:: a group of people that includes many families and relatives who have the same language, customs, and beliefs  

 :: a large family    

:: adopted strangers

Sitting atop the gear tower of the ski chair lift, twenty feet off the ground and 8,000 feet above sea level, the five of us turned towards the mountains and took in a collective breath of fresh air and exhaled as one. We laughed at the absurdity of needing to climb to the highest point and sit together. We shared memories of the weekend summit that had introduced us. For unique reasons, we had each come to HATCH, a creativity/innovation gathering that asks each person to be vulnerable and to rise from the ashes to ‘hatch’ a better world. And here we were, perched just under the umbrella of clouds, taking a moment to appreciate the other vulnerable person looking out over their own world.

This is my tribe. My tribe spans across the globe, with people who come in and out of my life but remain my “adopted strangers.” As a writer it is my job to find commonality between people, to recognize themes that unite us all. That’s what tribes do. Tribes reinforce our most basic desires as engaged humans: to be heard, to connect, and to make an impact. Our tribe makes us feel heard and appreciated, but tribes should also recognize characteristics that set us apart as individuals, characteristics we possess that better us all. The people in my tribe not only love and care about me for who I am, but they push me to always be curious, to always be bettering myself.

 

 

I found a quote several years ago that has remained a large part of my intention as I move forward in life:

“If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

This has nothing to do with ego. Ultimately this means, surround yourself with people who continue to inspire you. But in this quest, remember to also be a model of inspiration to others around you. Be intelligent, be creative, be silly, be daring, be so full of love that it feels like your heart might leap out of your chest. Be you.

Yarrow Kraner, founder of HATCH, says, “To hatch a better world, we must hatch better communities. To hatch better communities, we must hatch our best selves.” So be the best version of yourself to inspire those around you. And when you find your tribe – friends, family, or adopted strangers – hold onto them.

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