Celebrating Love and Humanity by Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC
One of my favorite stories is this account of love and humanity from Alice Walker.
“It is said that in the Baemba 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, about all the good things the person has done in his lifetime. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. The tribal ceremony often lasts 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.”
It’s hard to describe the feelings I experienced when I first read this many years ago. The story captured my heart and spoke directly to my coaching sensibilities. There is such essence of coaching mastery in, and between, the spaces of these words. “All work ceases…” shows up in Mastery 5, where the people maintain focus on and attention to the villager, and Mastery 4, where there is full focus of attention. When the person is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered, Mastery 8 includes trust, openness, curiosity, courage and recognition of potential, which is necessary for a loving system such as this to blossom.
Each person in the tribe “speaks to the accused, one at a time, about all the good things the person has done in his lifetime. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length.” In this, we see an illustration of Mastery 2, where there is recognition, acknowledgement and appreciation for the person’s strengths and potential. Mastery 7 brings the person back to what is most important: in this case, themselves.
As the celebration ensues, there is the further evidence of the power of the Masteries. The story, in its elegant simplicity, easily incorporates the elements of coaching mastery such as acceptance with expansion, comfort with discovery, transformation with safety, risk with confidence, and so on. These qualities are evident in so much of what we learn and experience every day, in and out of our coaching sessions. <<<<<Members click here to continue>>>>>>
Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, is the Lead Certifier and a certifying examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. Natalie is founder of Ageless-Sages.com Publishing (www.ageless-sages.com), and creator of the literary genre, Picture Books for Elders™.
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