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Illustration Credit: Totem by Laura Berger

We are a tribe of 21 people mostly born in the 1940s–50s. We share specific values, hold each other as a priority, and formally commit to one another. “Bicycle distance” is our metaphor for living close enough to meet face-to-face with weekly consistency.Here’s how to start your tribe.A tribe starts with one person. It begins when the “champion” talks with friends she or he has come to trust over the years about intentional friendship.After enough conversation, there comes a time to formalize the acceptance of an invitation. In our case, Bill invited Zoe and presented her with a written document to formalize her intention. Upon completing and signing her “Testament of Intent” she dramatically presented Bill with the same opportunity. This created a movement from thought to action and established a base for expansion. Now we could reach out and present the shared vision, values, and essential structure to one person or one couple at a time. Some friends liked what we offered and accepted our lead. A small core group of men and women formed. Beginning with a commitment of three years we called this our fa …

Bill Kauth cofounded The ManKind Project in 1984, is the author of A Circle of Men, and has launched literally thousands of self-help groups. Zoe Alowan is an artist, and together they have written We Need Each Other and Toolbox for Tribe: How to Build Your Own Community.

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