Relationships are the fabric of human interaction. We meet people and we get to know them, their stories, and what has defined them. We live in a culture where living in silos is okay. I don’t buy into that anymore. Relationships that we have with people across communities, cities, regions, states, and countries all form how we view the world. Relationships inform us that the big, bad wolf isn’t really big or bad – usually. But most people, I’m willing to wager at least 80%, are fundamentally good. And they fundamentally want to be liked, even if they’re not willing to admit it.
Because we’ve made wanting to be liked anathema. If you’re independent, you don’t need to be liked. You just need to be listened to. Look, just because people listen to you doesn’t mean they like you. People aren’t order-takers, built to be programmed and bossed around like robots. People have value. People are interesting. People are interested. Getting to know people, creating the relationships with people where you’re getting someplace deeper, is a task well worth the effort.
And we build on those relationships to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. We build communities. And this tends to be where building relationships stops. We tribalize, we find our social niches and stick to them. There couldn’t be anything more wrong than stopping at this point. Tribalization is what divides people, what causes self-identification with a particular group, and dogma. Dogma is danger for creating new relationships. Dogma closes minds and hearts.
It’s time we’re friendlier. It’s time we let go of the tribal notions of kindred identity and latch on to human identity while respecting – and follow me here – individual beliefs. I’m alive, please let me live and let me be your friend. We might not see eye-to-eye, but I like you and you’re interesting to me.
Let’s open our silos.