Remember Your Song
When a woman of a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes to the jungle with other women, and together they pray and meditate until they hear “The song of the child.”
When a child is born, the tribe gets together and they sing the child's song to him or her.
When the child begins his education, the village gathers and chants the child's song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, people get together again and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song again. Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, tribe gathers and, just as they did at his birth, sing the person’s song to accompany it in the “journey”.
In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, all the tribe makes a circle around him and sing his song. The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not through punishment, but through love and the recognition of his true identity.
When we know our own song there’s no need or desire to harm anybody.
Your friends know “your song”. And sing when you forget it. Those who love you cannot be fooled by mistakes you have committed, or dark images you show to others. They remember your beauty as you feel ugly, your total when you’re broke, your innocence when you feel guilty and your purpose when you’re confused.
~Tolba Phanem (African poet)