"I have read the story of a tribe in southern Africa called the Babemba in which a person doing something wrong, something that destroys this delicate social net, brings all work in the village to a halt. The people gather around the "offender," and one by one they begin to recite everything he has done right in his life: every good deed, thoughtful behavior, act of social responsibility. These things have to be true about the person, and spoken honestly, but the time-honored consequence of misbehavior is to appreciate that person back into the better part of himself. The person is given the chance to remember who he is and why he is important to the life of the village." Christina Baldwin, "Making Sense of Our Lives Through the Power and Practice of Story."
What's our immediate reaction when we read the above quote -- what foolishness, naivete, must not have been something 'too wrong', could never work in our modern society...? Well, the second time I read it - and looked at it as a 'story' - I realized I was raised hearing the same types of stories from the Bible. It's called reconciliation, go and sin no more, love others as you love yourself, forgive 70x7.... How about it - foolishness? Would never work? Then, why oh why, do we mouth the words? - Beth Almond Ford