Once upon a time, there lived two great chiefs. One of the chiefs, who was very very powerful, had proven himself over the years. When he said it would rain, it rained. When he said the buffalo were coming, they came. When he said hard times were coming, they came too. It got to the point where the people would believe just about anything he said because he had always been right before, again and again. They would follow him wherever he went, do what he recommended, and believe in his visions of the future.
This chief was loved by everyone, but he also cherished his privacy, so people couldn’t talk directly to him very often. His teepee was on the very edge of the village, sort of away from everyone. When someone would come by to speak to him, a family member or one inside his circle would relay the message. Very seldom would he talk to someone directly or help someone directly. Doing so would show favoritism, he felt, and he didn’t want to create a stir, nor did he want to be bothered with petty complaints on matters like that.
Now, in the same village, there lived another chief. He was not as tried and true. There had not been any big battles during his lifetime, at least not yet, so he hadn’t gotten to prove his courage and bravery, even though a lot of people had confidence that he would do well when battle did come. This chief had also established himself to be a chief the people could trust and believe in. He had good ideas, and sometimes he said things before the other chief said them. He was not wrong very often either, but he hadn’t been right over a long enough period to earn the same stature as the other chief.
This chief was very different from the other in one key way. His teepee was in the very center of the village. The flaps to his teepee were open whenever he was there, and people could always stop by and talk to him. When someone needed his help, he went to them directly, no matter what time it was. He talked to people every day and many considered him one of their best friends, not just a powerful chief.
One day in the fall, the first chief said that everyone should pack up their teepees and head to the south. He said a great herd of buffalo would be found there, and the people needed to prepare for the winter. As the chief announced this, the other chief moved to the front of the crowd and with a voice that was both quiet and firm said, “With all due respect, I think we are more likely to find the herd to the east. A lot of people have been telling me that they have seen signs of a great herd over there.”
The people were very surprised that this younger, less experienced chief was calling the first chief into question. This was something that they could not get wrong. Their lives during the coming months would depend upon them choosing the right direction to move.
Which chief did the people follow? Which direction did they travel? And why?
This is post #87 in the Engagement Series. If you want to make sure you don’t miss a post, please feel free to hit subscribe!
image by Fred Buckner. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/fredbIII