What's in a Song?

There is a tribe in Africa (I do not know the name of) where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. Just a thought! When a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. When they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.

When she is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it.  As the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts themselves, someone sings  the song to soothe the babe. It is sung throughout their childhood when the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, and also as a way of honoring this person.

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, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them. Yikes! That would really make one feel guilty huh?

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. Purely a beautiful thing, don't you wish we could all live this way? When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this person is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little out of tune at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.

(this story was found on tumbler, I'm not sure of the author, but I have corrected some grammar and added in my own words, none the less it is beautiful. Don't you think?)


1 comment: