Confession: I cry during almost every movie I watch.
I think I hide it well, pretending to cough or rub my eyes until the feeling passes.
But I don’t cry for any old reason. It’s never when a character’s dog gets hit by a car or he loses the love of his life.
I cry when the team pulls together to win the championship, or when characters put their differences aside to stop world war 3.
Example: I cry 2-3 times during every Fast and Furious movie. No shame.
Sure, I may cry quicker than most. But I’m not the only one who loves to see a group of people come together to climb an impossible mountain.
Collaboration runs deep in our DNA. It’s why we’ve survived this long, and have done so many cool things.
Where’d Our Tribe Go?
We’re tribal creatures without a tribe.
Well, that’s not completely true. We do have political parties, religions, and football.
And it’s clear by the way we fight for these tribes, sometimes in the face of all logic and morality, we take our tribalism seriously.
But something's missing. Even if we connect with people who share our political views or our love for them Cowboys, we’re lacking the day to day collaboration of a real tribe.
At one time, the village raised a child. Each person offering the child something unique, and the chance to connect with a variety of people.
The able bodied men would band together, trek into the wilderness, and bring home food for the rest of the village.
This is how unbreakable bonds are formed. This is how we accomplish greater things than we could on our own. If this was a movie, this is where I’d cry.
But not anymore. Now, we keep as much distance as possible. I go to my house, and you go to yours. My stuff is my stuff, and stay the hell off my lawn. Aside from light, fluffy small talk, we stick to ourselves.
Driven by consumerism, we push to snag a bigger house or a faster car. We move up the social ranks, taking note of everyone we leave in our dust.
It’s me vs you, and in the words of Jay-Z, I. Will. Not...Lose.
Oh, And We’re Miserable
For the first time in decades, the death rate in the US has increased.
These ‘extra deaths’ are being referred to as “Deaths of Despair”. Although they’re being caused by the usual suspects- heart disease, cancer, obesity- these killer diseases are being traced back to loneliness.
Loneliness is shown to be as harmful for the body as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. The difference is, smoking is notorious for it’s endless body count, but our social relationships don’t get a second look.
While we stick to ourselves and compete with one another, our DNA is screaming for connection. Somewhere, deep down, we know we’re built to collaborate, and that together, we’re greater than the sum of our parts.
But we’re ignoring this primal need. And it’s killing us.
Take It back to Our Primal Roots...
As men, we aren’t known to be open with our emotions. We keep them pushed down and locked up, put on our brave face, and take care of business.
The thought of ‘connecting with other men’ can make our skin crawl.
“Nah bro, I’m good.”
But we aren’t good. We’re far from good. Even if we are good, we’re better together.
Now, I’m not suggesting Kumbaya sing-a-longs (Unless anyone else wants to, then I’m down) or cry-fests (again, I’m down).
I’m talking about building together, breaking down barriers together, growing together, becoming better men together.
Despite our endless connection through social media, we’re more isolated than ever. We can’t become our greatest selves in an isolated, depressed, unsupported state.
It’s time to start connecting.
If this idea seems far fetched to you, start small.
Build up to social situations that allow you to build and grow with others.
Collaboration is in our DNA, and ignoring it is no longer an option. Instead of isolating ourselves, let’s build together, and become greater versions of ourselves than we ever could on our own.
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