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Change Our Story

Composer, author and philanthropist Peter Buffett on finding your own path to life fulfillment.

What's Your e-Tribe?

Peter Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is an Emmy Award-winning composer, NY Times best-selling author and noted philanthropist. Currently, he is releasing socially-conscious music and touring his "Concert & Conversation" series in support of his book Life Is What You Make It.
cultural diversity 

If you’ve been following along, you’d know that I was at a loss for words last week so I posted a beautifully written letter from Martin Ping.

I’m still at a loss, but my Midwestern roots are deep and they call out to me (in a sort of pestering obligatory way) to come through with my weekly commitment.

I think a lot about what to write and it’s amazing how easy it is for me to get paralyzed when I consider how little I know regarding just about any given subject. Or when I read how many ways people can look at just about any given subject.

There are a lot of brilliant thinkers out there (and maybe some not so), and a ridiculous amount of (I’m pretty sure I mean that in a good way) passionate people. Factions are many and deep.

For instance, it’s amazing to me how these little graphics get immediately created to display a political opinion or a philosophical stance. It’s like we all have a little desktop ad agency to sell our point of view or we just copy and paste something that says it better than we could have. Here’s an example.

Which brings me back to my struggle with something to say. There are so many people saying so many things; crazy numbers of online communities within communities. I can’t imagine what this will develop into, but it seems impossible to imagine people staying circled around old institutions for much longer.

It’s almost as if we can break up into smaller communities again; like-minded people finding each other and splitting off into tribes that may be partly virtual and partly “real life.”  And then tribes start intersecting with other tribes in surprising ways.

Social interactions on the internet have begun to create a massive multi-dimensional enneagram (of course, this is what the advertising industry lives for tracking your every move so you can be selectively but predictably sold to).

People are starting to gather around deeply personal and unique aspects of themselves, and because of their sheer number and the ease of personal expression, the internet is providing a much more nuanced look at behavior and true ideology.

So, I’m trying to imagine how people would govern themselves if they converged around defining characteristics other than political parties and nation-states, religious ideology, and moral certitude–the list goes on–not because these things would disappear so much as they would get so granular that other qualities would emerge and reveal whole new layers of overlap in a sort of  “camaraderie of values” between people and communities.

While in some ways the world seems to be turning into a caricature of itself (everything seems just a little bit over-sized and out of whack–like a cartoon that maybe isn’t so funny) at the same time, we’re meeting each other as individuals across artificial boundaries like never before. Our world is becoming a very granular place. How will we take care of each other and ourselves when we can see everyone’s faces–and a little of each other’s lives?

Who has more knowledge or a stronger opinion or a better way to say this than I do? There’s probably a whole school of thought around this and I just don’t know the name of it. Help me out here.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

What do you think? Share your story at changeourstory.com. Visit www.peterbuffett.com to learn more and Change Our Story to join the conversation on how we all can become active participants in shaping our future.  

Image courtesy of Sustainable Sanitiationlicensed under Creative Commons.