A young boy reached out and pushed a log of wood into the fire. The fire crackled in response and the flames leaped high flickering across the faces of the village members. Their illuminated faces were sad and solemn.
“We must always be consulted,” one elder said adamantly.
“Chief has no right to make this decision without our input” another echoed nodding his head in annoyance.
“Well, our custom is clear, if chief wants to make decisions without us then we will leave him to do that, “said one of the women.
The next morning the entire community woke up early. The young women packed up the kitchen utensils while the boys gathered all the livestock. The mothers tied their babies on their backs and the men secured the food in large burlap sacks.
“Please don’t leave” the chief begged the elders. “I made that decision in our best interest.”
“How did you know that was our best interest when you never asked us?”
Together, based on their custom and tradition they left their village and the chief all by himself.
They formed another settlement and selected another chief. During the new chief’s coronation, he was reminded as all those before him never to make decisions without consulting the people.
For obvious reasons relocation of entire communities today when leaders choose to act without consulting the communities they serve is not feasible. However, the fact remains faultless; all community members must be consulted when making decisions and, their voices must be heard.