I’m just reading an article about community that draws from the tradition of the Dagara people now situated in Burkina Faso, central West Africa and Ghana. In this article Malidoma Somé says:
The Dagara people have an elaborate cosmology to support this. It begins with the idea that every child has returned from the world of the ancestors with a specific purpose to fulfil, which is regarded as a gift. So, there is the assumption that people are born with a gift that they are bringing to the family, people and culture that they are born into.
Members of the community do everything they can to support the child and bring their gift out into the open.
It is interesting to compare this with our education system which is more like a factory where all children will be turned out “above average” (derr!) and all expected to be taught, educated, shaped, manipulated, knocked into the same shape to fit the current economic model.
The idea that “people are born with a gift that they are bringing to” society is so much more creative and wholesome.