Converge International - Mental Fitness - Page 36



Community (Social Networks,
Giving)
All cultures had a strong focus on family
connectedness and social bonds
generally. Most of the cultures favoured
and nurtured life-long small circles of key
friendships that could be fully relied upon
for unconditionally. Each member of the
close-knit tribe would provide support
when any member of the group needed
extra help or fell on difficult times. They
shared life long adventures and
experiences which deepened their bonds.
These larger ‘tribes’ helped raise the
multiple generations of children, with
many centenarian women commonly and
actively nurturing and raising their greatgreat-great-great grandchildren.
Further, they understood the importance of
belonging to the right tribe – proactively
surrounding themselves with the right
people. If you hang out with unhealthy
people, you’re more likely to be unhealthy.
They worked out that if you want to live a
long life, choose your tribe carefully.
The researchers also noted a consistent
theme across these cultures. There was a
far greater veneration and celebration of
the elderly than would be typical in most
western cultures. Elderly family members
were fully integrated and included in the
lives of their younger family members and
were cherished for their wisdom and
potential to contribute.

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