Sebastian Junger
Rating: 7.5/10
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Reading Ease: Reading Time:4 hours

An insightful look into how we've lost some core aspects of living in a tribal society, living in an individualistic western culture. The tribal way means willing to make a substantive sacrifice for your community, holding a shared burden, loyalty, selflessness, and a sense of belonging to something larger than oneself. Junger focuses on the rise in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, especially for military personnel who haven't been exposed to frontline combat, and it's connection to the breakdown of the tribe. I found the research presented very eye opening, and it made me rethink certain aspects of war. The lessons can be applied in leadership and other community building activities.

Notetable Quotes

“Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary. It's time for that to end.”Sebastian Junger
“Human beings need three basic things in order to be content: they need to feel competent at what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others. These values are considered "intrinsic" to human happiness and far outweigh "extrinsic" values such as beauty, money and status.”Sebastian Junger
“What would you risk dying for—and for whom—is perhaps the most profound question a person can ask themselves. The vast majority of people in modern society are able to pass their whole lives without ever having to answer that question, which is both an enormous blessing and a significant loss.”Sebastian Junger
“Because modern society has almost completely eliminated trauma and violence from everyday life, anyone who does suffer those things is deemed to be extraordinarily unfortunate. This gives people access to sympathy and resources but also creates an identity of victimhood that can delay recovery.”Sebastian Junger
“Today's veterans often come home to find that, although they're willing to die for their country, they're not sure how to live for it.”Sebastian Junger

Motivations to Read

After helping to build some communities of my own, I've witnessed the power and fulfilling feeling being part of a tribe can have. Tribe is one of my four personal compass coordinates; Mind, Body, Spirit, Tribe.

3 Reasons to Read

  • A critical look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the many challenges today’s returning veterans face in modern society.
  • The effects of being in a Tribe on mental health and stability.
  • Lessons in community building and leadership.
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