Tribe v. Principle

People on this side of the line are better than people on that side of the line.  My people are smarter, stronger, and better looking than your people.

Oh wait…you just crossed over to my side of the line.  Now you are one of us….and magically, all of a sudden, you are now better than them.

Welcome to the tribe.

It feels like our culture is becoming increasingly tribal in nature. I see it everywhere.  Politics is the easiest example.  Red vs. Blue, Left vs. Right, Republicans vs. Democrats, etc.

It’s in sports as well…..

“I hope my team drafts that kid!”  Why?  “…because he played at Homer U where I went to school!”

And in the marketplace…

Why are you standing in this long line?  “The new MePhone is out and they are going to be available at this store in less than 4 days!”  What do you like about the new MePhone?  “It’s really cool and everybody wants one!”

And in relationships….

“Have you heard about the new guy?  He’s from Saskatoon!  I’ve heard good things about Saskatooners!  Jill met and married one last year.  I wonder if he’s single.”

I think about this trend because while “affiliation” bias is never going away it is often WAY over-valued.  And along the way, the thing that I think should matter more, is becoming less valued.

Principle – a fundamental truth that serves as the foundation for a belief.

Principled stands in politics lead to election defeats. John F. Kennedys “Profiles in Courage” is a book from years ago that provides good examples of the cost of principled stands in politics.  I wonder if there are fewer profiles in courage today than yesterday.

Drafting kids from the hometown team sells tickets but doesn’t necessarily build good teams.  The principle of drafting quality players in positions of need is what builds teams.

The new MePhone isn’t going to drive long term sales because it’s new or cool.  It will sell or not sell because of some feature that makes it more useful to the consumer…the principle of adding value for the customer.

As for relationships, I can’t really argue against dating Saskatooners.  If we were honest about it we all privately wish we had one.


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