Who are we?

Spend some time with your journal. Bring to mind a group that is really important to you. It may be your family, workplace or perhaps a faith or social group.

Why do you stay together as a group? If it gives you a sense of collective agency, agency to do what? What is your common purpose? What is the difference you can make in the world together that you cannot alone?

What brought you together? How did the group start? When? Where? Who were the founding mothers and fathers? What struggles did they go through? How did they overcome? Who are the group’s heroes, its role models? Why?

How often do you get together? Where? When? What do you do when you do? What are your rituals, your special places? What songs do you sing? What dances do you dance together? What discomforts do you endure together? What do you gossip about?

What is it that keeps you coming back week after week? What are the group’s stories, its myths and legends? Who is the keeper of those stories, their curator? How do they get passed on? How do new episodes get written into the narrative?

Write down the first answer that comes to mind. You may not have any answer for some of these questions, and that is fine. The object is to try and see the way things are. No more, no less and, certainly, no judgement.

Reflect on your answers. Do not try to analyse them. You have answered the questions, so you are primed now. Let your mind work offline for a while, then find some time to be quiet. Meditate and see what comes into your stream of consciousness.

Encourage other members of the group to do the same thing. When you have, get together and compare notes. Have a meal, ‘eat salt’, break bread together. Have a conversation.

What might you do differently in the next week? The next month? The next year? Do it.

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