If one community offers far less luxury and modern ease than another, why do so many choose the former?
If white collar crime kills as many Americans in two years as the Iraq and Afghan wars combined did, why is the outcry stronger about the latter?
If one vulnerable man’s actions result in the death of six, but those of many highly resourced men result in the death of 5000, why is only the former charged with a crime? And why are the latter rewarded with bonuses of one million to thirty-four million dollars?
Sebastian Junger’s book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging presents vital questions, and some answers, about what what we value and seek, and how much of the American way is topsy-turvy considering the craving of so many to experience a sense of collectivity.
Although the writing exposed so much tragedy, I found it eye-opening, clarifying, and ultimately affirming.
My own sense is that many people continue to pursue belonging far more than cash, a craving which Junger posits may be key to humanity’s survival. On the flip side, some of us have pursued belonging to the point that we lack sufficient resources to eat and be sheltered, such that we’re equally out of balance and, ironically, at risk to participate in war.
My own book, Rising, proposes a middle path, not to mention real options for those mentioned in Junger’s book who have fallen through our society’s terrible cracks.