Once upon a time, in a land far away, a group of people gathered together on a systematic basis to declare their allegiance to “the peacemaker.” They had great reason to be loyal to the peacemaker; their history prior to the peacemaker’s arrival was anything but pacific. They lived in perpetual sorrow because the dominant atmosphere was one of violence. There was rarely a day without an incident of anger boiling over and another person being placed in a grave. It wasn’t just the adults. Children had not seen peace at any time during their lives. Family members fought. Clans fought against other clan.
In some areas, the clans were very small due to a peculiar tradition. A man would have four or five wives, or perhaps six or seven wives. That translated into many children being fathered by one man. As the boys grew up, they were the hunters and providers for the father’s family. The father needed these young men as laborers. At the same time, these young men realized that the only way they would be able to also have multiple wives was to make sure there were fewer men, many fewer, men left alive. So these young men had few options.
The dominant option was to seize a few women to become his wives, move to another area, and hopefully form his new family of multiple wives and children. Of course, he knew that other men were looking to do the same thing he had done; they also were on the lookout for vulnerable women. He also knew that these predator men would kill the husband at the drop of a hat to increase their own harem.
People lived with violence, with hatred, with revenge, with murder, with deceit, and with deep sorrow. Some realized their sadness, but they did not know how to change. They had never seen joy
At a certain point, a stranger made contact with these violent and sad people. He was from the ”outside”
His background was not that of the violent, small clans. He didn’t arrive with a woman, and didn’t show interest in having a wife. That meant that he was not seen as a threat. The men couldn’t understand why he didn’t want his own family. Clearly, he did not have a band of young men that could function as his “private army,”
But, the most important thing was that he knew what peace and joy were. He knew what destroyed peace. He knew what promoted peace and joy. He had an image of what life could be like. He explained that to people. Not everyone understood his ideas. But he had one particular way of explaining himself. He said, “think of me as a medicine man. The medicine man knows what being healthy looks like. He knows what will produce that health and what will bring joy.”
The “medicine man” was right, of course. The peacemaker could be a peacemaker because he knew what peace looked like and what promotes it. The clans knew very well what brought sadness. They had been living that way for ages. But simply telling them to not murder, although good advice, didn’t give them a vision of peace. It took the medicine man to do that.
And, now the people have learned what peace is. They know what joy is. They have no hesitancy in proclaiming their loyalty and thankfulness to the peace maker. They once had been a people without a vision. Now they knew what they can be. “Thank you, medicine man.”