Poisonous Tribalism

Many people say that all art reflects life or that all of it—at it’s base—is social commentary. l don’t know. That sounds pretty pretentious to me.

What I do understand is that no one writes in a vacuum. The things we see, experience, and feel deeply will find their way into our stories in one form or another, often as a plot device or a viewpoint character that shines a light on those issues that have impacted our own lives

One or the overarching themes in the sky road is that of tribalism. Our deepseated need to belong to something. Whether a family group, a nation, a profession, or a religion, it is built into our nature to identify ourselves with something or someone outside of ourselves. To seek likeminded people. To have—a tribe.

Image result for Spock imageThis collective mentality can be a great source of strength. It encourages heroism and self-sacrifice and instills in us the understanding that at times /cough “The needs of the many do outweigh the needs of the one” /drops over exaggerated Spock voice.

 

But this unshakable need for community and cohesiveness can become poison. In the first book of my series, Exile, it was Y’keta’s need to find a family, to belong to the People that forced him to deal with his past and his relationships. In Guardian we see what happens when this instinct is turned against the people it is designed to protect.

The most divisive, hurtful, downright skanky word in the English language isn’t hatred or anger it is much, much older and more basic than that. It is the word, them. . .  Coming from the old Norse word ‘theim’ its meaning is literally ‘of them’.

The word epitomizes the plight of the other, the outsider. If you are ‘of them’ are not and can never be ‘of us.’ The very heart of our sense of tribe or community is challenged by the way we treat those who are ‘not us’. Those who do not look like we do, do not match our colour palette or slip seamlessly into our communities.

What will happen when a village elder forgets this lesson?

Who will pay the price of their hatred?

The spear in your brother’s heart IS the spear in yours.

You are he.

Young Bears

Pre-Order Guardian Now – Available April 8, 2019

or start at the beginning with

Exile, Book One in the sky Road Trilogy. 

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