Cheers to the Tribe

When I was a child I had an autograph book; I’m sure you remember the kind. Often they were small, hard covered books with coloured pages and you would take them to school for your friends to write in them.

Silly sayings come to mind.  I recall my Mum put one in there, written vertically on the page in capital letters (primarily because her writing was so awful) that said: Up a ladder, down a rope, there you hang, until you choke…..

Hmmmm, I’m trying very hard to not read anything into that…….

Another friend from school wrote this gem:  There are 3 types of people in this world: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened!  

This one was only marginally more more politically correct than the last one!

Ah political correctness……now there’s a topic.  Indulge me in this little segue, dear reader.

The same friend who wrote that quote above in my autograph book all those years ago, is in a minor scrap on Facebook at the moment as a consequence of posting something on this very topic. I personally found this post rather amusing, as did most of her group of followers. However, the very “public-ness” of social media sites like Facebook is both it’s strength and undoing.

A particular individual has taken offence at her post which clearly was not a political statement but a gentle tease on the righteousness and zealotry of many people in today’s society. I’m not sure if this particular individual is a friend, colleague, or co-worker.  He may very well be one of the social media trolls we’ve heard so much about. One who trolls the internet for things that they feel strongly about and who must, for fear of seeming irrelevant, pass his narcissistic, self-indulgent, rant induced comment on.

When did life become so serious?  Lord knows you don’t get out alive!

Which brings me to the actual point of this post, in a very circuitous way.  My reflection on the various types of people in the world led me to ponder on the many different types of people who have come into my life over the years.  The friend described above is someone I have known since school days and we are meeting up again tomorrow to plan our 35 year school reunion.

She is a fine example of the people who I describe as the Stayers.  They are the ones who you aren’t in contact with regularly (more on them later) however when you do see them, there is a buried memory that lifts itself into the front of your mind for a short while and brings a gentle smile that is founded in shared history.

Then there are the Fair-weathers.  These are the ones who contact you when they want something.  Thankfully I don’t have many of them in my life and I have learnt to recognise them when they arrive.  I can see them a mile off.  I promise you that I’m always polite; however I am far more protective of my time these days and rarely give these people more than a passing nod.  I’m grateful for their occasional appearance in my life as they serve to remind me of how far I’ve come and I truly value the lessons they have taught me.

Lastly, there are the members of the Tribe. These people are the inner circle.  You have contact with them all the time through various means; phone, social media (I did say there were strengths to social media), email and best of all, face to face. These are the ones who know your secrets, who were often there when those secrets were established (most often over a glass of wine or 5), who held you as you sobbed and whispered “it will be ok” as you plumbed the depths of despair and whose sides ached with yours as you belly laughed through a range of situations.

They are both family and friends.  They are the ones who are truly worthy of their membership in your tribe and who make things happen, watch what happens and wonder what happened right along with you.

If you’re as lucky as I am, you will have a number of members in your tribe to cherish and be grateful for.

So here’s cheers to you all – you know who you are.

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