Acknowledgement (and Ceremony)…

Nine Pax, took the Daily Red Pill (DRP) this morning and got better because for it.

The Pax: Squirrel, Napalm, Scout, Neo, CPT D, Barry, Felix, Aruba & Chitwood

(Runners: McFly, Flying Tomato, Rip and Bourne)

The Scene: Keep your valuables at home today men, it’s a bit muggy out there

The Thang:    Each exercise is done with a coupon: 

  • 100 Blockees
  • 200 Curls
  • 300 (Plyo/Standard/Derkin) Merkins
    • Chitwood’s words, grunts, complaints and groans flowed like words of affirmation
  • 400 Windshield Wipers
  • 500 Squats

While Pax 1 is doing the exercise his partner is running the loop around the parking lot.

BTW, what do you think of the new T-shirt Logo?  I think I’ve heard enough of this it seems to be a mantra.

Announcements/Prayer requests: Great news from Neo – his mom is looking much better than in past visits.  Not out of the woods yet and let’s keep the prayers up!

 Scout lead us out in prayer


MOLESKINE:  Ceremony & Acknowledgement

Many moons ago, I learned of the below story during a Transformational Leadership course. 

In the Babemba 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, each recalling the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. This tribal ceremony often lasts for 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.”

The story is totally Mythical!  I’m all about a feel-good story and this is definitely one that makes for a feel-good teaching moment, however, “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs…, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me.  I am from Missouri (pronounced Miz-ur-a). You have to show me.” ~ Congressman William Vandiver, circa 1899.

Given my Show Me State mentality I went looking to ensure the story was true.  The true version:

In the Bemba Tribe when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly they are rebuked and corrected by his/her seniors who have the moral duty to “parent” and morally align the wrongdoer.  Juniors and minors cannot correct their senior.  If juniors notice a wrongdoing of their senior, they will recruit the help of someone senior to the wrongdoer: senior community members, village head persons and the like.

~ Dr. Mukuka, University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and member of the Bemba Ethnic group of Zambia. July 2019.

There you have it – Truth.  Although the first story is false, it does speak to ceremony and acknowledgement and the need for them both.  Ceremony forces attention so that attention becomes intention.  When we stand together and profess a thing before our community, it holds us accountable.  Our, what some may call stupid, rituals – be they religious or F3 or other – fuel confidence and strength.  Ceremony reminds people of where they come from, what’s right and good and our collective responsibility to the community.  Looking at our F3 “ceremonies” I see great power in doing them: 

  • The naming of a FNG. Bringing someone new into the tribe
  • The Circle Of Trust (COT) at the end of the workout. This circle is sometimes fraught with comedy but there are other times we find vulnerability.  Powerful questioning, vulnerability, honesty.  This is a place where all voices are equally important.
  • Completely Stupid And Utterly Pointless (CSAUP) events where we break through our individual limits for the sake of the other. We deepen our bonds.

Outside of F3 there are ceremonies of christenings, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, retirements and funerals.  Ceremony follows us throughout our lives.  The attention we have during our weddings becomes a life-long intention of caring, listening and loving for the sake of the other. We come together in community and through ceremonies lift up the lives of others. 

Acknowledgement is the other part.  For YHC ceremonies, such as getting awards or lauded by peers, suck.  I don’t like them, never have.  I’d rather just get a high five in the parking lot or a “nice job” as we head out…those moments feed me better than a ceremony.  I’d challenge each of you to offer (and accept) acknowledgement.  Very often as we finish up something in life, we are too quick to rush on to the next thing & miss the acknowledgement when given.   What winds up happening is that we don’t think we get enough acknowledgment.  If someone does offer you acknowledgement, don’t just brush it away with a “no problem!”.   Slow down.  Allow it to sink in and nourish you.  Notice how you feel when you offer or accept acknowledgment.  Turn around & look the person in the eye and say thank you.

When is your next ceremony?  Who will you acknowledge this week?  What if you had to wait for acknowledgement or a ceremony?  Don’t wait!  Take attention and make it intention so that others know they matter.




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