There is a tribe in Africa where the date of birth of a child is not calculated from its birth, nor from when it was conceived, but from the day when the child was a thought in the spirit of its mother. And when a woman decides to have a baby, she goes out, sits alone under a tree and listens until she hears the song of the baby who wants to come to her.
And after she has heard the song of this child, she returns to the one who will be the father of the child and communicates it to him. And then, while they love each other to sire the baby physically, they sing the baby’s song for a while as a means of inviting the baby.
And then, when the mother is pregnant, she teaches the song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that the old women and people who surround her sing the song of the baby to greet it when it is born.
And as the child grows up, the other inhabitants of the village teach the child’s song. If the child falls down or injures his knee, someone picks it up and sings his song to him or her. And when the child does something wonderful or takes part in the rites of puberty, the people of the village sing his song to honour this person.
In this African tribe there is another occasion when the villagers sing the song of the child: if the person commits a crime or a socially abnormal act during his life, he is then called to the village centre and the people of the community form a circle around him or her and sing his song to him.
The tribe is aware that the correction for antisocial behaviour does not lie in punishment but in love and remembrance of its identity. When you recognize your song, any desire or urge to do things that can hurt others disappears.
And so they live their lives this way. In marriage, the songs are sung together. And finally, when then the person lies on his deathbed, all the villagers know his song and sing it for the last time.