top of page

“A true friend is one who offers you another view of reality
without making yours wrong.”- Gary Michael Durst

This page demonstrates how and why we unite and divide. As a result, our culture is polarized. We understand little and tolerate less about how our fellow citizens, co-workers, and family members see and organize their world. To help us better understand I utilize the metaphorical imagery of six tribes; each one a gathering of those with a similar perspective formed out of their own life experiences. Our failure to understand ourselves is nowhere better illustrated than in our failure to understand our own 21st century tribal affiliations.

We must move to an understanding that individual identity is complex. Viewing identity solely in terms of age, sex, gender, race, or ethnicity is too reductionist. Each experience in life is a tributary flowing together to form the river called identity. 

Come journey with me to better understand 21st century tribal markings, migration, and warfare. My sincere hope is in so doing you will honor and make peace with yourself and with those of different tribes. I believe that one cannot change until one understands that certainty may not always be an attribute. This webpage contains just the first few steps in the journey towards that understanding.

Why Don't You See Things Like I Do? How Can You be so Wrong?

My purpose is to provide you a brief introduction to the concept of six tribes that I am suggesting exist to provide both individual and group identity and its partner, purpose (see the accompanying blog and forthcoming book for much more detail). Richard R Grant said "The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose." 

The following is a brief listing and introduction to each of the six groups:

1. The Believites: A tribe characterized by individuals having a dominant sense of self stemming from a belief or set of beliefs. These beliefs may be transmitted to the individual by parents, schooling, peers, and/or by the experience of life itself. The Believite is introduced to certain perspectives and then adopts these as core tenets for him or herself. Beliefs become the prism through which the Believite sees and understands life and the world.

2. The Amites:  A tribe characterized by a dominant sense of self stemming from an inborn characteristic. To the Amite, this sense of “what and who I am” comes from nature. Their dominant sense of self stems not from choice, but from some inherent characteristic that is theirs by birth. Their identity and world-view is dominated by this sense of “amness.” Amites might be distinguished by strong identity with race, ethnic background, gender, sexual preference, or some other physical or mental characteristic.

3. The Doites:  A tribe characterized by individuals having a dominant sense of self stemming from activity, vocation or accomplishment. The Doite is very comfortable making things happen. Ask a Doite how they are and they are more likely to respond with what they are doing. Their sense of self-worth increases with every accomplished task. They are the ones you want to go through the wall, get it done and make it happen.

4. The Knowites: A tribe characterized by individuals having a dominant sense of self stemming from information, data, and knowledge. They know; therefore they are. The advanced knowledge and information at their fingertips gives them a secure place in the world. These are the experts, the scientists, the gurus of this or that. They thrive on knowledge attainment. Their expertise is sought after and trusted. Therefore they are sought after and trusted.

5. The Havites: A tribe characterized by individuals having a dominant sense of self stemming from status, power, possessions, wealth, or influence. Havites may be accused of “not living in the real world.” Through birth, success, fame or fortune they have risen to a place where their world is defined by the scope and breadth of their “stuff.” They may work and have causes in which they believe with great passion. Their identity comes from being able to influence by their mere presence.

6. The Needites: A tribe characterized by individuals who, by birth, misfortune (real or perceived), or circumstances believe they are living or have at some time lived life from a deficit position. This sense of deficit dominates their view of the world. Simply put, they are continually in need of providing or receiving affirmation. Helplessness or blaming may be the dominant characteristic with which they live their lives, or they may prioritize helping the helpless. The Needite consumes, but may have trouble being satisfied.

Provisional Certitude, Truths, and Blind Spots

bottom of page