The other day, a friend told me about her new cleaning lady. “She’s lovely, hard working, and…she’s a liberal,” she grinned. I remember reading an article about the war in Afghanistan where the writer spoke about tribalism and how American ideals can never compete with such a primitive notion. But is it primitive, or is it part of our nature? For millennia, humans have banded into tribes. Anyone from outside the tribe was suspect. And anyone within the tribe who violated tribal mores was banished, thrown out into the wild, exiled from the tribe.
Our tribes are now called Democrats and Republicans. Vaxxers and anti-vaxxers. Activists and supremacists. Brexit and anti-Brexit. And then there are sub-tribes. Ecstatic dancers. Soccer Moms. Men’s groups. I remember the first time I went to a Feldenkrais conference. I felt embraced and accepted. A somatic mosh pit – a whole conference of people who loved Awareness Through Movement®.
In this brave, new world, can I open my territory to other tribes? Previously, tribes stayed out of each others’ territories (until they wanted said territory). What happens when we become one world? When our tribe is not about location, but ideology? How does the human animal negotiate these new boundaries?
Moshe Feldenkrais once said “Nothing is permanent about our behavior patterns except our belief that they are so.” Can I reach across my personal boundaries to the person in the other tribe and experience new possibilities? I was speaking to some colleagues the other day and we joked that we believed that the Feldenkrais Method could save the world. I still believe it, one Awareness Through Movement® lesson at a time. If we all move together, we can become one tribe.