We Are A Tribe

“A Tribe is a group of people connected to one another…connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another.” – Seth Godin

In his captivating book, “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us,” a famous American author, Seth Godin, argues that in our current age of existence, for the first time, we are all allowed the opportunity to build movements. These movements may function as the neurons in our brain, transmitting signals—chemicals—that allow for the different parts of our brain to communicate with each other. 

Seth refers to these movements as Tribes, and these Tribes possess magnetic forces that can attract people of like minds—people who crave connections, thirst for meaning—people who ‘hope for change.’ Fundamentally, the book presents that a group of people need to possess two elements to become a Tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate. 

The ideology of a people connected through their shared hunger for change, as promulgated in the book, has never been more real for Liberia and Liberians than now. 

“This ideology of change resonates with Liberians in the peaceful comfort of oblivion to the crying voices of those who are in dire need of survival. The current state of economic and political affairs across Liberia has created a hostile environment, hence making life seemingly unbearable.”

People are frustrated. People are dissatisfied. Apparently, all that is left is hope, if at all there is any. It is yet to be proven whether a change has happened or it is a desire for the future. History has repeatedly shown to us that when a group of people are deprived of their means to survive, and when they are robbed of their freedom, they become resistant and may fight back. Anger and retaliation become the “dominant emotions” in politics, social, and personal engagements. The Genevan philosopher and writer, Jean Jacques Rousseau, reminds us that, “it is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living [survival].

Of recent, we are experiencing the rise of these emotions daily. The expressions of Liberians about the country and its events are saturated with negativity. To reiterate Rousseau’s words, this constant reverberation of negativity robs us Liberians, especially young people, of thinking and sharing positivity about the country. Meanwhile, there are many young people who, through a collective effort, are endeavoring to improve particular social situations.

“In as much as we criticize and condemn the many wrongs, it is incredibly important that we highlight the things going right, whether it is political, educational, social, or entrepreneurial. This act is a demonstration of courage and a proclamation that all is not lost for Liberia.” 

More importantly, by continually practicing the act of appreciation and gratitude, we regain our sense of consciousness and build the strength to thrive. 

As we know, our brain is a complex network. Science tells us that every second, our brain processes a magnitude of information. One of its jobs is to reward us when we do something pleasurable, to make us happy, through the release of dopamine, one of the three significant neurotransmitters responsible for transmitting chemicals for different functions in our body. This process helps the brain recollect and influence us to repeat the same action because of the reward. 

During the past two weeks, my team and I created a campaign to join other existing platforms across Liberia to showcase to Liberia, to the rest of the world that, beyond the spewed negativity, Liberians still have many reasons to celebrate Liberia. Coined “WE Are A TRIBE,” our campaign seeks to reframe the news about young people across Liberia and highlight positivity about the country’s progress in specific areas. 

Whether it is a Liberian, Eric Gabriel Jenn, being inducted into the Next Einstein Forum of young science and technology champions across Africa, Mahmud Johnson being a top ten finalist in the 2019 Jack Ma Africa Netpreneur Prize, or Jefferson Krua co-launching Pinkberry in Liberia, there are many young people doing fantastic work across the country. It could even be Liberia being named as one of ten top travel destinations in the world by Lonely Planet.

We are encouraging youth-led institutions (including businesses, organizations, unions, student groups, music, and dance groups) to join the social and multi-media campaign by sharing their work on various social media platforms. Full details of the campaign can be found here.

Follow and like the official campaign pages (Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook) to stay updated with the campaign, and the work young people are doing all across Liberia. The campaign targets young people from all sectors, including education, technology, agriculture, media, entertainment, and fashion.

Authored by Wainright Acquoi

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