A Traditional Society (Pohnpei) Does it RIGHT!

Good Morning, God!

Yesterday I had a chance to read Nature Conservancy — and I was delighted to find an article about Pohnpei. Since we have a Pohnpei congregation at Central Union — we now know some Pohnpeians. Friends bring the world so much closer.

Like most places Pohnpei is experiencing a drop in the fishing stock. And they, as part of the Federated States of Micronesia, have set up marine sanctuaries. But money for patrolling was scarce. And the government was reluctant to treat the fishermen as criminals.

The village chiefs have now responded in a traditional way. The article talked of fishermen who were caught fishing in the sanctuary. The chiefs of their village called for a meeting. And the fishermen’s families — by tradition — had to provide the food for all the people gathered. The chiefs gave the fishermen an opportunity to explain why they should not be punished. The fishermen responded by apologizing and asking for forgiveness in front of their families and community. The chiefs reminded them of everyone’s collective responsibility over the natural resources available to the community.

How incredibly civilized, God! The chiefs used Social Shame AND then talked about everyone’s responsibility to CARE for the COMMON resources they depend on.

I wonder, God, if greed could be reduced if even a small percentage of us made it “socially” clear that we think greed is shameful? Oops! You just reminded me YOU think greed is shameful.

Funny, God, I have not ever thought of SHAME as a good thing. But I can see that shame can be more effective than laws and lawmen. For some people laws just makes it a game to get away with stuff.

Oh, God! Help us to feel the shame WE should feel. It is so easy to project! Make that, help ME.

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Story teller,

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Posted in a new view of Commons, Shame as a tool that can be used for good, Sharing, supportive organizational structures

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