- Hunger, Baaba Maal
Two stories. The only two stories there are, really.
In the United States, Donald Trump is successfully using the politics of division to build a tribe. Like all tribes, his excludes others and incites his people to violence in defence of what they either feel is theirs or they have decided to claim.
Look to the former Yugoslavia, or Rwanda, or Syria to see what happens when brothers are divided and told they are mortal enemies.
Trump is not the first, nor will he be the last. He is a symptom, a manifestation of the most base, limbic aspects of our species' psyche. The tribe is uniform, it is closed, it is static - and it is doomed, always, to fall.
That's story one. Here's the other one.
“This is so unusual; the newest people to the country and the oldest peoples never get to talk to each other,” she said. “Here, it’s happening organically.”
What is the opposite of tribe? It's community. Throughout history, people have travelled in search of community, of some common thing that connects them with others. In the end, though, the thing in the middle is never anything more than a centre of gravity, a stone in the soup that brings people together. Community isn't what they join, it's what they build together.
This is something I feel is hard-wired into so many First Nation traditions, and yet it's only now, after centuries of trying to wipe out or oppress this wisdom that we're realizing the only way to move forward is to think laterally and embrace the best of what we once wrote off as valueless.
There is so much hunger out there - hunger for something we feel we don't have. When we mistake this hunger for anger, we are vulnerable to the dempagogues and would-be tyrants of the world, like Trump. Men like these don't know how to build - they only know how to destroy.
The hunger is real. It's a yearning for something more, something greater that feeds our souls.
We've been through this cycle before; doubtless, we'll go through it again.
The trajectory is set, though; if you can look beyond the shadows of fear and individual or tribal understanding, you can see that beyond the light at the end of the tunnel - the cave entrance - lies a garden.
It's a space where we all belong, where collaboration and co-creation allows us to innovate and build nourishment that sustains rather than being trapped in a "eat what you kill" mentality.
Hunger keeps us competitive, helps us get ahead - but only so far. To go the distance - to get to where we're going - we have to get there together.
Only then can we be free of this hunger that starves are souls. Only then can we nourish each other and be more than the sum of our parts - a community, a concious society, a manifestation.