life_for_free (life_for_free) wrote in after_b,

Tribes and Society problems

Hi. I just joined. I'm 18 years old nerd getting ready to begin my freshman year at college this fall. When someone suggested that I read a little about Daniel Quinn and read his books, I went to and read as much of his essays/speeches as possible. I haven't finished reading his entire site yet! I was thrilled with the reading, with the thoughts he provoked in me.  I intend to get my hands on some of his books, as well.  I have devoted quite a few entries in my journal to talking about thoughts and ideas he provoked in me.

I decided to crosspost and see if I can get any positive debate about my thoughts.

Originally posted on my journal
Also x posted at anotherway


I was reading Q&A's at  I will probably be spending the next two weeks to a month reading all I can on Daniel Quinn's ideas, theories, formulations, speeches, essays, and books.  Then I will probably move on, but I will move on with a changed perspective, changed mind, and remember always that he succeeded in doing so to me.  I may go back to his work every now and then afterwards, because that is what he did to me.

After reading a few Q&A's and a few things Daniel Quinn said, I get the feeling that people flock to him for help, thinking that he will give them specific guidelines because he got this far in figuring out what we can do.  They all cry out, "What can we do now? What can we do next?"

He can't tell us that.  He looked for hope, found what HE can do, and then he turned around and gave us hope.  Hey, look, I can do it! Now it's your turn.  Maybe you don't know exactly yet what you're going to do, but that's okay.  You have to try.. because whatever happens, fail or succeed, something will happen anyway. 

This one Question that I linked above was from this individual, who said something that made me pause and immediately think something that I plan on analyzing: "I do not have a tribe, Mr. Quinn, and I would go so far as to guess that most other people do not. "

My immediate thought? We always have a tribe.  Each one of us have family we are born into and family we choose for ourselves.  We befriend others who are different, but still share ideas.  I have heard my biological family say to me often, "We are your only family, the only ones you can really trust".  I reluctantly agreed with them just to get away from that uncomfortable issue, but it always seemed wrong to me.  That mindset is very relevant to our culture, where people think, "Too bad for you, I'm taking advantage of this".

You see, I think tribes evolve the same as everything else does according to natural selection.  Daniel Quinn mentioned this natural selection issue relating to humans production design and evolution of animals to meet specific requirements -- he also mentions that our culture does not allow changes, or evolution, which, I believe, is why we're having so many cultural dissatisfaction and problems.

I have encountered people that were hard for me to get along with and people that I clicked with immediately.  In the evolving aspects, I seek to get along with everybody, so my chosen family are the ones I click with immediately, and this is my tribe.

This said individual who I quoted above also said this: "I am $20,000 dollars in debt to the federal government (the cost of improving myself through a college education), I work waiting tables while I try (unsuccessfully) to publish my short stories, and I save up money to travel to places around the world where (somewhere in my heart of hearts) I hope to find some kind of real freedom."

I kept thinking that there HAD to be a way for him/her to connect with others who have the same problems and see if they can share and help eachother with the issues, because, honestly, nearly everyone in this society share similar prisons as this.  But I know how hard this is, and I'm trying to find my way around this, too.  I'm looking at the same problems, myself.  I'm very soon ready to attend college in the fall, I have scholarship and financial aids, and I'm afraid of falling into debt.  College doesn't motivate individuals to succeed, because all I have seen them worry about is money.  What almost always comes out of people's mouths in college is about money.  My boyfriend attended the same college last year, but one of his his professors didn't put up video clips of his speeches (they didn't do study guides or anything) as he promised his students he would... so Jerry failed that one class and his GPA dropped, which made him ineligible for the scholarship to continue this fall.  He has no way of going this year, not enough financial aid nor money to push him along.  He may be going to another college nearby, which is a lot cheaper and affordable for his current other financial aid that he's still eligible for.  We're struggling just to get "more education" as decreed by all the higher ups and our family.

Anyway, I suggest that if you're reading this, go ahead and read the entire context of that said questioner and see Daniel Quinn's response.  It made a lot of sense.  A lot of people, in our culture, DO start out with no tribes until they get themselves wet, which is what a lot of people (including the said questioner previously quoted) are hesitant to do. 

The problem is wondering whether one would drown, being overwhelmed by tides of changes, or if one would survive, still afloat after the tides of changes.  It's a lot to think about...
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