The Six Elements of Building Strong, Lifelong Connections

Ever mused over the true core of creating lasting bonds? Dive into this episode of Elements of Community where Caitlin Cogan Doemner and Lucas Root flip the switch in a captivating interview dialogue. This week, rewind the scenes as Caitlin, initially the interviewee, steps into the host’s shoes to interview Lucas Root!

Embark on this riveting journey, as Caitlin passionately unravels Lucas’s profound insights into the six indispensable elements he believes essential for nurturing deep and long-lasting communities. From purpose and collaboration to joyful engagement, Lucas shares it all in this heartwarming exchange.

This unique twist of roles provides a fresh and engaging perspective on the Elements of Community. Don’t miss out on this golden opportunity to learn how embracing these elemental principles can empower you to craft connections that withstand the test of time. Mark your calendars for this enlightening discourse on unity – a truly unmissable experience!


[00:00:00] Welcome to the Elements of Community podcast. I am your guest host, Lucas Root's partner, Caitlin Cogan Domner. And today I have the privilege of introducing you to your normal host, Lucas Root. And we are going to be interviewing him about his six elements of community. And for those of you who don't know how immensely qualified this man is to talk about community, let me just highlight the fact that he has been building community everywhere he goes.

In Wall Street, in corporate America in real estate ventures and entrepreneurship and consulting land. And he's now doing his doctorate degree on community as the technology that allows us to be truly human and the author of the book "Elements of Community". So Lucas, welcome to your own podcast.

I think I never imagined I'd hear. [00:01:00] Also, by the way, they didn't know that I was pursuing a doctorate until now.

Yeah, we're in the homestretch getting that finished.

It's now it's out.

No doubt Now it's out in a couple of months, I'll get to introduce you as Dr. Lucas Root.

Yeah, that is right.

So Lucas, why don't you start with an overall framework of why community, why is this topic important to you at all?

Yes. Thank you. So we actually put out a really powerful thesis statement in our last episode about partnership Maslow was wrong. Community is necessary for security. Community is necessary for food, water, and shelter. As an animal, humans are not capable of those things by themselves. And so we're insecure if we don't have a community, not food, water, and shelter, actually it's community that makes us secure.

[00:02:00] So I looked around at the world with these new human loving eyes that I've been cultivating, but sort of stepped into somewhere around a decade ago, by human loving eyes, I mean, I love humanity. I looked around the world and I saw evidence everywhere I looked. I mean, really, it was ubiquitous of insecurity and nothing but insecurity.

I saw the kinds of decisions that were being made everywhere I could see it. All of those decisions were decisions of insecurity. Overeating is a decision of insecurity. If you have enough food coming to you in your next meal and the meal after that, you don't need to overeat in this one. You're going to approach this meal differently.

And even though I know that I can go to the grocery store and get beef, if I'm insecure at my core, that knowledge is irrelevant.

This is why we have people hoarding. [00:03:00] Even though they can drive to Costco anytime they choose.

Anytime they choose. We didn't actually run out of toilet paper in 2020. Like, it didn't happen. It wasn't a problem. Even though everybody bought all the toilet paper they could possibly put their hands around, we still didn't run out. My wife called me up and was like, you better go get a whole bunch of extra toilet paper.

And I was like, yeah, we're good. We got two weeks worth at home. Like, I don't need more than that. They're running out. Yeah, they'll get more like I didn't approach that decision from insecurity, but she did.

Or you could buy a bidet, which is what we did.

Better much better.

So the world around you is acting insecure.

All the time.

All the time.

Overeating is a good example hoarding is a good example, but there's others too and this is gonna be the first time people will hear this from me. Not you though is insecurity.

Is trying to disconnect from a [00:04:00] reality that's not serving you, and it's true, it is not. We are not intended to be humans alone, and if you feel alone all the time, reality is not serving you, it's not helping you be your best you.

So it's not just drug abuse, it's addictions in general. Pornography, drugs, alcohol, work. Right? We have more people addicted to their careers than ever before.

That was me. I had a work addiction. That's what Wall Street, my experience of Wall Street was really cool, really exciting work that I did way too fucking much of. And yes, the culture drives you in that direction. But it's your car. It's your car. You can hit the brakes if you want to.

And it took me 15 of the 17 years I was on Wall Street to realize that it was an act of insecurity. So I was insecure. I was a raft community and acting from insecurity.[00:05:00] Overworking out of fear.

So what is the outcome? So security, when you have your community, it looks like security. What are the other benefits of having community? Why would you bother with this at all? Because it's a lot of work to build and maintain a community to invest deeply in people. What's the benefit? What's the payoff?

I love that. First, let me question, is it really a lot of work? Or is it actually just the work? Like, it is the work.

What other work matters?

Benefits. Well, first, the world changes when you are secure. The world changes when your need for love is satisfied. And it's hard [00:06:00] to describe the change in terms of the eyes of somebody who is insecure and moving into the eyes of somebody who is secure. But number one, every single thing that happens is an opportunity. Which is natural for humans. We are a predator animal. So everybody talks about this idea of fight or flight, but fight or flight is actually not right.

It's not correct. Fight or flight is a second step somewhere way beyond where normal predators operate all the time. Predators don't live in a world of fight or flight. We live in a world of opportunity or mundane. There's no need to consider fight or flight. Everything that we see in front of us is either an opportunity. It's something that we want to go after, or it's ignorable.

The lion lounging on the plane. Are you [00:07:00] food?

That's it, you actually have to be pushed out of security in order for fight or flight to exist.

That makes sense.

Now we have triggers. There are natural triggers that push things out of security. For example, if the ground is shaking and there's a whole bunch of hounding going on, it could be elephants or hippos coming your way, and a lion's gonna get the hell out of the way of those things.

It is triggered by that noise, right? But it's not gonna jump up and skeedaddle. It's gonna pay attention, because that also could be a herd of wildebeests. Opportunity. it doesn't approach that situation from fight or flight. First, it approaches that position from opportunity. Is this an opportunity? Not fight or flight. Do I have to respond to this? Do I want to respond to this? It's so.

Ears perk up. Eyes focus in. You [00:08:00] focus towards the thing that's coming at you. That makes sense?

And then fight or flight. Nope, it's not will to Beasts. And it is something I have to respond to. Alright, now how do I want to respond? Because I have to. Elephants are hippos, right? How do I want to respond? Because I have to. But it wasn't until I have to respond happened. That fight or flight turned on.

So community turns us from potential prey into predators is what you're saying, because we have our pride around us. We know that there's enough of us that we can take on whatever we need to. And so we can feel secure, which is interesting because I think a lot of people, maybe not your listeners, but I think a lot of people in our society associate predator with a bad thing.

Like we use the term, especially among humans. [00:09:00] As a mark of evil. Oh, that one's a predator, right? But in nature, it's not a bad thing, right? Lions aren't evil because they eat antelope, right? Antelope aren't good because they eat grass.

Well fact, we know from yellowstone that when you don't have wolves the prey animals destroy the landscape.

That the apex predator is necessary for a healthy ecosystem. So we have an unhealthy ecosystem because we have a bunch of predators going around eating grass.

There's a statement. Let me ask you a question back. How did you interact with me being a fully awake embodied predator as you were interacting with me as a, not even as a partner yet, just as a. You know, someone that you wanted in your life.

Yeah, I remember we had [00:10:00] this whole conversation and you're like, I'm safe. I'm like, no, you're not. And then I quoted C. S. Lewis when he's talking about Aslan and he's like, they ask because they hear about this lion Aslan. And the children asked the beavers, well, is he safe? And the beavers like, no, he's not safe, but he's good.

And I was like, I know you're not safe, but you're good. And that's better. I do not want a timid person. Like, if we're talking about creating a hunting pack, like. You better damn well know how to hunt if you're going to be in my hunting pack, I do not want somebody who's afraid of weapons and afraid of the world. Like you are useless to me. So I recognize that having a good. Awakened, enlightened predator [00:11:00] on your side is better than running with bunny rabbits.

Yeah. The phrase if you're running from the bear, you don't have to be the fastest. You just have to not be the slowest has always bothered me. Cause that's a fight or flight response. But we are the apex predator, bear is food. Why are we from it?

If there's enough of us to outrun, then there's enough of us to take it.

Yes, why are we running from our food? That's my food, why are we running from it? We started off in the wrong place when we brought that phrase up. We're in the wrong place. A predator. We can talk about fight or flight later. That's my food.

So, how many of us do we need to take down a bear, Lucas?

It's funny you should ask. So we live in a world where modern weaponry is normal. And in a world where modern weaponry is normal, we [00:12:00] need thousands of people to take down a bear.

Say more about that.

Well, we need all the people that make the electricity, and we need all the people that mine the ore that turns the gun and bullets into guns and bullets, and we need the people that operate the factory that creates the gun. And you know where I'm going with this. It's an enormous cost for that bear to get taken down in a modern, in the world of modern weaponry.

But here's the thing. We're actually a way more efficient animal than it would seem inside that story. It really we really can do it with just six. We have way overcomplicated it in a beautiful way. I love our technology. I wouldn't take it away. But we have way overcomplicated it. We can do it with just six.

And here's why. If we have six people that are all 100% awakened, deadly [00:13:00] embodied predators that are working together like humans are supposed to, then it takes about two people. To hold the spear, one each, two spears, and it takes the other four people to make sure that the bears go to that spear.

Fascinating. So one of my favorite phrases of yours is that we are wolves, not tigers. The idea that a tiger is a solitary predator, but wolves cannot take down their food as a lone wolf. The idea of a lone wolf is a misnomer, right? That you have a pack. And the pack takes down the prey. And so you have this idea that six is the perfect number for everything.


We need our pack of six. In order to feel [00:14:00] safe in the world, not just 6 because I told you, well, my pack is my husband and my 3 kids. You're like no. Kids don't count.

They don't count.

That kid can pick up a spear and kill the bear as well as you can. They don't count as part of your pack. And I was like, oh, that's interesting. So cubs don't count. And so you need five awake, credibly deadly predators who've got your back and can help you take down whatever it is that you want to take down. And this is your community, yeah.

Yeah. That's the smallest size and the base structure.

So, one of the benefits of having your community is a sense of personal security. We also have just added the fact that. We're more effective at whatever we want to do, right? Admittedly, we're not usually taking down bears, but if we're building a company or we're raising [00:15:00] children or whatever these meaningful projects are that we're doing, it's easier if we have. Our pack around us, what other benefits do we get from community?

I love it. So, one of the conversations that I've been having a lot lately is one about AI. And in fact, I had it as a podcast episode here. One of the things that AI is doing that I love, that I'm so in love with, that I'm so delighted with is that it's taking over all of our repetitive tasks. All of them, people are responding to that with fear.

And again, this is because they are insecure. They're responding with that with fear, because what they see is their livelihood being stolen from them by our technology. When in fact, that's not really what's happening. It's just the way that it looks. It's the veneer getting torn off, and just like every time you tear something off, band aids in particular, it hurts.[00:16:00]

The veneer is getting torn off. What we're gonna see when we get through the pain on the other side is something that's really quite beautiful. The value of humanity has never been task completion. And when AI takes over task completion, what it's doing is removing from our hands the thing that's keeping us from our true value.

But it's not individual. We are not tigers. And in this way, particularly, we're wolves. The value of humanity is iterative collaboration. And it's core to that value that we can collaborate. Iterative collaboration, it does not work alone. You have an idea, I level that idea up, and I put it out there. And you level it up again, and you put it out there.

Iterative collaboration. [00:17:00] And what AI is going to do for us, what community does for us, is it enables iterative collaboration. It enables you to have an idea. That I can level up. It enables me to level up that idea to the benefit of both of us.

Well, I think what I'm hearing is just that we're going to move away from what we talked about in our last episode of humans only having value as a production center and start moving them into value as a being center that this human is worthwhile. And that. It's when they're young, when they're old, that they are inherently valuable because they are them.

And one of the things that I've heard you say, and that I really love is that the value of a human is that I don't know how I will meet you tomorrow, but I know that there's infinite possibility. Right? And so, whereas like a machine, the machine can [00:18:00] replace me and do it better. Right? If my job if what I'm contributing to society is my ability to make a car, then yes, robots are going to make that car faster, better, more reliably, more accurately than I will.

Right? And so it's going to take away a bunch of roles and responsibilities that we've confused as identity and that we've used to build this sense of self worth. And it's going to force us to think through who am I? Why am I here? What am I good for? Right? And start hopefully coming back to these core principles of humanity, which is I'm here for you. You're here for me, right? And that, I think is really beautiful.

Yeah. Thank you. Yes, that.

Yeah. Okay. So I think we're making a pretty compelling case for why we want community in our lives even if [00:19:00] we've never experienced it. Right? Where might somebody have experienced this, I'm just curious. Now you have an entire podcast giving people anecdotal evidence that this exists and they can find it.

But where do we find it most often? Right? How can you give them a sample? If somebody's listening, they have a community. I understand what this means, but what is it? How does it feel? Like, how would I recognize it? What's the texture of community?

Fun. My favorite is like, my sister, my older sister lives in a little cul de sac in Sacramento. And she has really deeply built relationships with all of her, not all of her but some of her neighbors. And to the point where she changed out the locks on her house.

And they're all now electronic locks, and her neighbors have lock codes to her house. This is actually true. So they can come and go. And they come, they use the pool, and they play with their kids, and her kids [00:20:00] go over to her neighbor's house, and they play with them, and they all get together for birthday parties, and they all get together for holidays, and they also all get together on Wednesday night to study.

And it's not necessarily Wednesday night, this isn't like a standing date, but like, this is a thing, and so I go taking a step back when my sister and I first started living close together again, right? It's been 25 years since we lived close together, and I called her up one day, and I was like how come you don't invite me over, we live close now, and she said just come. Maybe give me some notice, maybe let me know, but really, like, just come, and if you don't give me notice, I'd rather you show up, even without notice, than not show up.

And she lives in this world where the people who are in the in club, just come, like, just come, just show up, I'd rather you be here, anytime, exactly, [00:21:00] I would rather you be here inconveniently.

Than not be here.

For the people with whom that has resonance, right? That's what community means to me, but it can exist like that in all sorts of different places. You could have real community at your workplace. You can have people that support you, that, you know, you show up and there's no reason why anybody should give a shit.

And your boss comes around and notices your seat's empty. And your co-worker's like, Oh, he just stepped out to get some coffee. He'll be right back. As soon as your boss turns their back, co-worker's on the phone. You better be here in like 10 minutes. I bought you 10 minutes, but you better be here in 10 minutes.

And there's no reason, there's no benefit to the co-worker except that the co-worker loves you. Not romantically, maybe even they don't recognize that they love you, but they love you.

They've got your back.

They've got your back. [00:22:00] Yeah. And I'm not saying we need to require that behavior at a workplace. What I'm saying is when you start to see that behavior, that's evidence of community.

That's the hallmark.

Start digging in there. Start grabbing hold.

Find the people who have got your back and get theirs. Yeah. I love that. So how do we start building this? Let's say, yep. I'm in. I like it. Lucas, you've sold me. I want more of this in my life. How in the world? Do we begin building this thing?

So I have the six elements.


And this is actually kind of funny because the way you ask the question is going to make me answer it differently. Here are the six elements. Common language. A purpose, projects that we do together, value that you give and receive the social contract, and common heart.

Now, ironically, most of the conversations that I have omit purpose [00:23:00] and project. Most of the conversations I have are focused on language, value, and heart. And they sort of leave out the other three purpose Project and the Social Contract. But you asked a question differently. How do we build it?

And the answer to how we build it is actually going to be focused very deeply on Purpose Project and the Social Contract. The usually places where you draw people in. Those are the places where you start to isolate in a good way. The language elements that are the language of your community you start to isolate the value of the community the value that you want to contribute and begin to contribute the value that you want to receive and begin to receive from that community and don't misunderstand when your co-worker called you and said hey, I bought you 10 minutes. Get your ass over here. That is value.

That was a gift.

Yeah[00:24:00] but how we build it we don't build it with language with value. And with heart, we actually build it with purpose project and contract. So here's how you start identify the purpose around which your community will coalesce. It all starts with purpose.

Now is this, are we talking like our personal purpose? Like why I'm on the planet?



Great question. No, so your personal purpose matters and you should be in pursuit of that all the time. Whether, if you don't know it, it's out there and you will find it. But this isn't the purpose of your community. The purpose of your community is something else. At its core, the original purpose of community was security.

We talked about this. It was making sure that you have food, water, and shelter. That's its core. But as humanity has grown because we've become an apex predator, as humanity, the apex predator, as humanity has grown, [00:25:00] we have enabled specialization. So at its core, humanity is actually not an animal of specialization.

Every single one of us needs to be able to hunt. Every single one of us needs to be able to cook. Every single one of us needs to be able to coach a baby. Every one of us.

But only half of us need to feed them.

No, actually, every one of us needs to feed them. Do you know how you feed a baby when you don't have milk available?

No, I don't because I have milk available.

Yes, you do. You chew the food, and you spit it into the baby's mouth.

All right. Well, there you go. I was just thinking about the fact that any woman can start creating milk in response. It's a suckling at any given moment. Like, if you need to, it's there for you.

Ironically, so can some men.


Yeah, actually true. One third of men have mammary glands.[00:26:00]

I'm just trying to think how we're going to figure out which are the one third.

Well, you wouldn't. Because a baby can also survive on pre masticated meat, right? That is the original pre processed baby food is you take some meat off the kill that you just.

Pre masticated mastodon.

That's right, you chew it up until it's all fully 100% chewed. And your saliva has started to actually process the meat in there and the flavor in your mouth is starting to change and you spit it into the baby's mouth and the baby will eat it and live. And live well.


Yeah, milk is better.

And milk is better.

It is milk is better.

Okay, so going back.

100% of us can feed a baby too.

So, yes, we are naturally not specialized.

We are naturally not specialized.

We need to do everything.

We enabled [00:27:00] specialization through the technology of community, which is cool. And in so doing when we enabled specialization, we also enabled the specialization of purpose. Now I can have a community training. Whose purpose is more specialized than just security. I can have an artist community.

I can have a, you know, an electrician's community. Which, in modern day, might look a lot like a union. I could have a traveler's community. Something with which you are very familiar. So, purpose is number one. Identify the purpose around which you will have your community coalesce. What is the purpose that brings them together?

That's one. Number two, do stuff. Do stuff, projects. Not [00:28:00] because projects are necessary for community. They are. But we actually talked about this thoroughly in the last episode. Projects are where community tests. And in so doing breaks and in so doing fixes, build better, build stronger. Cause that's the way humanity works.

You want to have stronger muscles, go to the gym and break down your biceps, break them down so much that they hurt like hell for two days. But that hurting is actually rebuilding stronger.

We work that way in everything, break it down, build it back better. And that's where that happens inside community is in projects. We break things down and build it back better. And as we do that, we start to identify the way. In which we, as a now highly specialized community, are choosing to engage.

So, we start to notice what the social contract is in our community. This is how we engage, this is how we [00:29:00] don't. We also start to notice what are the unique language. That we use as a community. This is how we talk about things when we talk when we say the word run This is what we mean when we say the word meeting. This is what we mean, right? So we're building language through projects.

And then contract.

Project second contract third

What does that entail?

Contract. It's this is a new conversation for us here on the elements of community podcast. So I figured out in january, let me say that differently. I knew about this. I was fighting against it.

Didn't want contract to be one of the elements of community, but it is. What I realized what that I was fighting against in January is that we do naturally have rules around our engagement and the rules involve all of the elements of community.

It's okay for [00:30:00] you to miss a project. Sometimes in this community that sometimes is 50% in this community that sometimes is 10%. You don't show up to 90% of the projects in this community, you are in violation of the social contract of the community. And it is that approach to having rules that govern our engagement that is actually core.

I'm assuming we have spoken and unspoken ones. Yes?

Yes. Although there isn't really any necessary, like there's no necessity to having unspoken rules. It's okay to speak them.

Well, I know, but I would say like most of us, I don't know, very, I don't know. I'm a little bit of a weirdo, so I do like articulating it. I'm thinking of back to my fifth grade.

Such a weirdo.

I am such a weirdo. Team weird. But I was getting really close with my friend, Megan, and she had just her best friend had moved away [00:31:00] to New Hampshire. I'm like, great. Now there's an opening. I remember sending her this little piece of paper. Like, can we be best friends? Yes or no.

And it was like, I needed to define the relationship, like, Are we do we get to be best friends and like 5th grade on right? Even how everybody years later it is. Like, she's still 1 of my best friends. She was standing up with me at my wedding. Like, I know I can call her for anything, even though we live far apart and we don't talk that often. Like, there's just that foundation that we laid, but I had to make it explicit. I think of other things like marital vows are us being explicit.

About the rules of engagement but I don't know that we do that level of specificity or clarity or there's not a word. I need to find a word. We don't bring these rules up very often in just. Normal acquaintances and friendships. It's like the unspoken rule that you call before you show [00:32:00] up the unspoken rule that you say, thank you.

When somebody gives you a gift. Like, I think we have a lot of kind of rules of engagement that we learn in intuitively. But it's not like, I mean, you can buy a book of etiquette and you can see that what you are and aren't allowed to do according to the rules of the Victorian era, but I don't know that in general, most of us are going around, like having conversations about our social contracts with our friends, you know.

But then, you know, in stark contrast, my sister called me and said, or I was on the, I called her that time and said. Screw that rule, it's more important than you, that you show up than that you call. Yes.

But there was an unspoken we had to make. A conscious spoken new rule to replace the unspoken rule like, so this is where I think you're saying you want us to be more intentional and more vocal about how we want to [00:33:00] play our game. Is this right?


Is this where you want to share the story about you and Jenny?

It could, this is a good one. It's a good one. Early on when I was dating my now wife, then girlfriend something happened and I don't even remember what happened. And it resulted in her being angry with me and I said, well, let's talk about it and she said, you know what you did. Now, this was early in our relationship, so it actually doesn't matter to me that I know what I did.

It's effectively irrelevant. And I sat down and I said, alright, it's time for us to have a conversation about this. She was all ready to have a conversation about what I did. That was not the conversation we had. I said, here's the rule. We're gonna have a rule. Here's the rule. From now on, there is no relationship rule in our relationship at all.

Except the ones that we agree to. Now this was early [00:34:00] on in my approach to community, so I didn't know that what I was doing was defining a social contract. Now I do. There is no rule unless we agree to it, so there's no such thing as you know what you did. If we didn't agree to a rule together, it's not a rule yet.

So give me an example of what's one of the rules that you guys came up with. Is it like. We're not late. We're like, what kind of rules did you guys implement?

It turns out that most of our rules are pretty normal. If I'm going to be late, I have to let her know I'm going to be late. It's okay to be late, but I have to let her know I'm going to be late. Now she and I ended up having a big fight about that one too, at some other time. And that's when we defined that rule.

Like she was out drinking with her friends and hell yeah, go do that. Like I'm a hundred percent behind it. And we had plans. And you know what? Sometimes being out drinking with your friends is just fantastic, and it's rolling beautifully, and you're in flow, and you don't want to break that flow, and, you know what?

I'm still going to be here tomorrow, like, [00:35:00] losing one night is not the end of the world. This is okay. I am not, and will never be, the husband who's like, no, we had plans, you fucking stop doing what you're doing and get your ass home. If the evening is going fantastic and you're with your friends, keep doing that.

But, my time is really important to me. All of it, all of my time. if I'm sitting there waiting for you to be done, then my expectation, and this is the rule that we then defined, my expectation is, you're going to treat that time that I'm waiting for you as important to you. So if you're not going to be done for an hour longer than you expected, or two hours longer, then you call me and you let me know.

Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. So social contracts. So we've defined our purpose. This is what I'm going to build a [00:36:00] community about, or why and what I want it to achieve. And we do projects together, and in the course of doing projects together, we discover that these are the rules that we want to play the game by together.

We're all agreeing to them and obviously I'm going to say the more explicit the better, right? Because the unspoken expectations are usually the ones that cause relationship problems personal and professional, right? So getting all of that up and out and clarified and agreed to whether it's in writing or just verbally.

I totally love this. This is very helpful. And then what's next? You mentioned language is language coming through all of this, which is now that we've done stuff together. We have stories that we tell, we have a contract that we use, this common language just appears naturally.

Yes, you start with English, or Spanish, or, you know, whatever language you're going to speak while.

Mutually common language [00:37:00] or even sometimes smiling. Smiling might be the common language.

Yes. So at its most basic level, you start with a language that you can communicate with. As you engage more deeply, you build a new language.

A new lexicon.

Yeah you go more deep, you go more personal, you go more intimate with your language. And the intimacy of that language reflects the intimacy of the community. Now that intimacy is going to look like common stories that you tell about the work that you've done together, stories that you tell about the way that you've broken down together, and stories that you tell about the way that you have rebuilt together. It's also going to look like inside jokes.

Where you say just one word at the right time in the right way and everybody who's in the community gets it and bursts out laughing. It's also going to look like the clothes that you [00:38:00] wear and the way that you move. For better or worse, I have seen evidence of community, not the best version of a community, where everybody's hunched over.

Oh, I was just thinking of gang bandanas, like wearing your colors.

Wearing your colors, body posture, movement, eye contact versus not. And that language will be identified and deepened in the projects that you do.

Started snickering because I went to a very conservative Christian college, and I wrote an article about how you could choose your soulmate exclusively on their looks alone. And it did not get approved to go into the school newspaper because they were like, we can't tell if you're being serious or not.

I'm like, yes, that's what tongue in cheek means. It means, yes, it's probably not accurate that you [00:39:00] want to choose your soulmate based on their looks alone. And B, you could probably have a really decent shot at picking the right person by their looks alone. If you understand that somebody's outer representation of themselves to your point.

How they stand, how they look, what clothes they've decided to wear, how they walk into a room. Like, they are communicating their identity. You may not know how to read their, the identity, right? They may be going through a crisis and now they're wearing all black and mascara and have fake tattoos down their arms.

Like, they may not be clear on their identity. Right? But at the end of the day, like how we appear and how we articulate ourselves verbally and visually, this is the sign of our identifier. And so you can if somebody is, has a true representation of what they feel as their true self, you have a pretty good likelihood that you're going to resonate with somebody with that first impression as you're [00:40:00] walking into a room with somebody.

So, yeah, I think that's interesting that this actually makes sense that this is the hallmark of community that this becomes your identity will shift and reflect or just qualify you to be in, right? Like it's like a KKK community, like skin color is one of those identifiers. It's gotta be a prerequisite if you're going to be a part of the community.

So it's just thinking through how we use identifiers, in your words, common language as a way to both attract and like, create and maintain a community, a shared identity from the collective individual identities.

Thank you. Well done. Yes, all of that. Projects will also start to identify the value that you can give and the value that you can receive.

Now, is this individually or as a [00:41:00] community to the world? Like, how does this work?

This is individually.


There's a, so what we do, right? What? Huh? What we do? So we group into community. It's our natural grouping. And you see lots of unhealthy versions of that because it's natural and we're unhealthy. So you see lots of unhealthy versions of that out there.

And I really hope that the way this story that people hearing on here. And the way that I'm talking about it. An the way that you helping me tell this story is helping people see that there is a way to do this in a healthy way and that they should. And once you have a community, now communities start to interact together. So, first there's the individual human interacting with the community that makes them whole. And you're not whole unless you have a community.

And that's part of the whole security conversation. Now you have multiple communities that are interacting and making a larger ecosystem, almost a community of [00:42:00] communities. And you just identified that in terms of, is this the human, the individual with the community or is this the community with the whole. Sort of the next step.

And the answer is both.

And the answer both. That's right. I live in an android.

And an Android world, but that's.

That's 100%.

So we have to give and receive to our individual community and then our bigger community. Like if we think of these as sort of Russian dolls, right? We have layers of communities. Yeah?

Yeah, so yes and through projects we identify the value that we're going to be giving to the community. And typically it is in alignment with the purpose of the community. So, for example, I could be fantastic with computers and be in a community that's about movement. And probably most of the value that I contribute to the community will not have anything [00:43:00] to do with my strength in computers because this is a human movement community. By comparison, I could have somebody who's fantastic at human movement and they decided that they wanted to join the choir, which is a singing community. And probably for a portion of the time that they're building their presence into that choir, their strength and movement is not part of the value that the community of singers wants to receive.

So it's not value they're contributing, even though they have it, they're not contributing it. They have to find something else to contribute. Sometimes it's as simple as we need 13 bodies and we only have 12, you make 13 and you don't sound horrible.

We'll take you.

We'll take you. You're standing, you're breathing, and you don't ruin us. Let's do it. And then as you get in, as you get stronger with the community together, like, this is gonna happen naturally. We learn our skills. [00:44:00] We're actually designed for exactly this thing. To learn skills from community, in community, as you get in, as you get stronger.

You'll get stronger in the things that the community itself requires. We need 13. You don't sound horrible, you're in. Six months down the road. Hey, you know, you started out not sounding horrible and now you're pretty good. You're identifying through projects, the value that you can contribute to the community and the value you want to receive from the community.

My community is telling me they want me.

Is it?

Oh, so, I like that. So, and I think that's just, like you said, it's natural that when you are in a place that needs you to show up in a certain way. Even if you don't have the strengths or the skill sets, you will cultivate them because they are community, if the community is important to you, if you're like, yeah, I [00:45:00] don't suck at choir, but I really don't love it.

After this I'm out, right? You don't love the community enough to cultivate those strengths and those skill sets in order to contribute more value. If you do value the community, you will take the time. You will take the effort to get better, take singing lessons, learn pitch, right? All those sorts of things. Because it's the community that's important and it will just happen if you stay in it, if you're committed.

If you're committed. And then the last is heart.

I was going to say, where does commitment fit into this?

It fits into heart. It's not actually value. In fact, it's not language. It's not a project. You don't engage in commitment. You are committed. Fits into heart. And I use heart and I've talked about this a billion times on this show and here it is one more. I use heart as a placeholder because we don't have a good word in English to talk about this thing.[00:46:00]

Other languages do. My favorite is the Greek word philotimo. If you translate philotimo, you will get love of honor, which is unfortunate because again, we don't have a good way to describe this concept, but it is so much more than love of honor.

We also just don't know what honor means there's like levels of which we do not understand this word.

It is a description of how important to you the success of the community is and your success in the community. It's a description of what you are willing and able to do when you show up for the community. And so what I say is philotimo is showing up for the community. In the projects at your best all the time, every time you show up.

So, it doesn't matter if you're shoveling shit or washing dishes or raising a barn or doing higher level art projects or singing every single thing that [00:47:00] you do with and for the community. You do it to your best. You give your all, you show up with love, honor, and commitment.

Reminds me of Jesus is love your neighbor as yourself, right? And this. The paradoxical irony is that you need to love yourself in order for this mantra to be useful as a guiding principle. So that loving the other neighbor is loving yourself in philotimo, the way that I love you, the way that I show up is how I love myself because I need you in order for me to be whole in your words.

I need you in order for me to be whole at its base level. I need you in order for me to be able to get food. The next level beyond that. So we discovered, and this was fascinating when we introduced mirrors to porpoises, that they knew who they were looking at [00:48:00] dolphins, killer whales, when we gave them a mirror so that they could see themselves, they already knew what they were looking at. They recognize themselves in a mirror.


So at its base level, I need you to get food, but at its next level, right? In pursuit of Ascension, I need you to see myself.

I need you to see myself. We are each other's mirrors.

We are each other's mirrors, the best version.

Hopefully. This is why you need to pick good mirrors.

This is why you need philotimo. This is why you need to show up with heart, with love, with commitment. This is why you need to treat your brother as yourself, because what you need in your worst moment is the same as what I'm going to need in my worst moment. And when I show up and give you what you need in your worst moment. I'm [00:49:00] helping you to see the path forward to showing up and giving me what I need in mind.

Love it.

What you need in your best moment is also the same. You need a mirror. You need to see yourself at your best. If you can see it, you can be it. It's not just in others, it's in yourself.

By seeing the best in others. We also see the best in ourselves. I love this idea.

And that's all in heart. That's all in Philotimo.

Love it. All right. Anything more we want to say about community on our six elements of community episode?

Well, I'd like to also show that I am also stubbornly coachable.


So when I did episode last year, I did an episode on the five [00:50:00] elements of community. And in fact, my first version of my book had the title, "The Five Elements of Community", because I was pretty committed to that number five. And I knew about social contract, and I was fighting against that as an element.

Why? Because I don't want to define things. We don't need to call ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend yet. Like, let's just let it be what it is. Here's the thing. The contract is there anyway. Think about that. The contract is there anyway. And if we don't take the time to have the conversation that my wife and I had, that you and I had, Caitlin, then you may be in violation of your contract and not even know it.

Well, I think this is one of our favorite ideas of yin versus yang energy, right? Social constructs is yang energy. It's providing the structure, the masculine container in which you can be safe to flow, right? [00:51:00] If you know where the boundaries are, you can flow within them easily. If you don't know where they are, you have to stay carefully huddled in the middle because you're afraid that you're going to step on somebody's toes.

Right? So boundaries in relationships, especially make you more free. It's this. Again, we also like paradoxes, that when you implement the boundaries, you are more free than you were before you implement.

Well, to add to that, and going back to the hunting metaphor that I use so often, that you just beautifully used. And thank you for that. People are like, well, what if you have a ravine that you can chase an animal down? Then you can kill it alone, and that's true, you can.

Right? So you have gotten lucky and stumbled across natural boundaries that make it possible for you to get food on your own, but it's luck. And those are natural boundaries that don't exist everywhere. And no animal survives on luck as an animal. [00:52:00] That's not the way we work in nature.

As a species.

That's right. We have a strategy as an animal, as a species, that makes it possible for us to create consistent replicable success. That's true of humans. It's true of every single animal.

We don't succeed because we occasionally find a ravine and occasionally are lucky enough to chase an animal into it. That's not how it works. As a hunting party, we provide the boundaries of the hunt. We create the boundaries of the hunt. It takes six of us to make a ravine.

We are the line. The bear will not cross.

That's right, we are the line. The line the bear will not cross. You are the line that makes it possible for me to know that the bear will come to my spear. And we work because you create that boundary, [00:53:00] right?

The same is true inside the community. We work because we create that boundary. We work because we create that social contract. And I was wrong to fight against that. I was wrong to allow our modern culture of let's not define that, over my recognition of what's actually core to us succeeding as an animal.

But you're also all about iteration, so you were willing to. Get feedback and make changes and that's the whole point, so.



Hell yeah, there it is.

Oh, I love it. So, if people wanted to get in touch with you, Lucas where would they find you?

There's a new answer to that

Yes, they can find you at [00:54:00] Love it. And if there was a question that I should have asked you, but I didn't, what question would that have been?

I love this question. I love it so much, I ask it all the time. It probably would be some version of when's your book coming out?

Great idea. So let me ask, when is your book coming out? The now six. Not five "Elements of Community" by the soon to be Dr. Lucas Ruth. Where, when is this coming out? How they find it?

So, I wrote it. I finished it. I held it in my hand in January. It was amazing. It really was amazing. I'm not just saying that tongue in cheek. It was phenomenal. And in the process of holding this, here it is right next to me all the time, in the process of holding this here book right in my hand, I immediately knew all of [00:55:00] the things that I had done wrong.

Now, if I was publishing right then in January, that would have been fine, it's still a fantastic piece of work. But I wasn't publishing right then in January. This was the pre publishing proof copy. That I get to go through with a red pen and figure out all the last little things that I want to change before we go to publication.

Well, in the realization of all the things that I had done wrong, not that there is any such thing as truly wrong, in the realization of all of the ways that I still wanted to iterate on the ideas that I had here in these pages, I also understood the breath of the conversation and the approach that I had taken.

So this book I actually wrote specifically for business owners. But I don't actually want the book to be specifically for business owners. I want it to be for everyone, so that everyone knows how to engage in the community. Not that they can read it and sort of [00:56:00] extrapolate engagement from a business owner's perspective.

Rather, it's for everyone. And it wasn't just, these are the things I could change. But rather, this is the way it needs to change in order for it to be a true representation of the conversation that I'm having. And that was a big rewrite.

And a wonderful one. I've enjoyed engaging with it deeply. And in the process, I also have gotten closer to graduation day for my doctorate and for better or worse. As I approach my graduation date for my doctorate, that has taken priority.

So I haven't continued writing the book in the way that I want to. So from today I would say we're four or five months out from the finished version and then another two months from publication.

All right. So 2024 look "Elements of Community".


By Dr. Lucas. I love it. Any parting words?

Yeah. I do the [00:57:00] best that I can to make this simple and practical and understanding. That while this is a core basic concept of humanity, we don't build culture in a way that allows us to understand how to engage in it, but do. Set aside your perfection and find somebody that you're willing to fail with.

Set aside your perfection and find somebody that you're willing to break things with and fix them with in a very real sense. Go be human.

Love it. Go be human. Build a community best you can. I love this. Thank you so much, Lucas. This has been amazing.

Thank you, Caitlin. You're awesome.

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