In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered.
All work ceases, and every man, woman, and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual.
Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a time, each recalling the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. This tribal ceremony often lasts for several days.
At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe.
-Jack Kornfield, *The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace*
As I was researching to find some photos of the Babemba tribe of South Africa I came across the same story AND this further commentary at http://www.thepositiveobserver.com
“What if YOU chose to react towards a negative behavior not with punishment, but instead by remembrance of identity?”
- Positioning someone that is close to you in the center of the circle when they have strayed from the path?
- Positioning a group, community, or country in the center?
How about yourself at the center of the circle? Have other people or groups in your life shown a light on some incongruities within you? You attract people, events and experiences through the course of your life based on where your thoughts and emotions have your energy, right? Like attracts like where energy is concerned. Though we do not need to live our lives based on the judgments and approval of others, what words can others share about you that reveal your original and true identity?
Me, Myself and I: Visualize yourself at your current age in the center of the circle. Completing the circle could be YOU at different stages of your life from infant to elder. In relation to the Babemba custom, what positive statements and attributes can you say about yourself as you go around the circle?
Now ask yourself…
- “Who am I?”
- “Where did I come from?”
- “What am I here to do?”
Photo Credit: David Wegwart of PhotoCraftz. A most talented eye and fantastic gentleman. Thank you for sharing your gift David.
The friend who sent me this story also included this awesome video of the song ONE LOVE from Playingforchange.com. ENJOY!
Is an old argument or grudge keeping you from connecting to those you love? Try the suggestions above and see if you can reconnect.
Although it’s often difficult to forgive others, self forgiveness is even more difficult for many of us. We often don’t treat ourselves as kindly as we do others. Put yourself in the center of the circle and send yourself some love.
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