TO LEAD AND TO FOLLOW

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.

Words of Light

I wrote my first story out of dire necessity. It was a life and death situation. As anguishing as it sounds I loved it and that’s what I want to find and feel again through this blog. 

Growing up my mom worked as a secretary for expatriates and during vacations, she would ask her colleagues for books so that her little girl (me) could read. I would read every book handed to me. Those were the good old days of childhood and all I had to do was snuggle in a corner and read; no work, no responsibility. It was just me exploring a whole new world. I would return the book and aghast the borrower would ask me questions assuming I hadn’t read the entire thing. I would answer all those their questions and promptly ask them for more. After I had exhausted all my options and eager for more, I decided to write my own stories. I poured out my heart on cheap 20-page ruled stationary made from brown sugar paper (remember them?). My stories were about things I heard and saw every day around me…in school, at the market, on the streets…. It was fun and over the years I realized that the reality of lived experience is best illuminated when written.

Welcome to my blog Muse with Me and thank you for coming on this journey. This blog is an avenue to share my ideas about life, my experiences, opinions, and perceptions about issues that intrigue me. For me, writing is as an instrument to shed understanding, to promote awareness and community engagement. Stories with all their nuances and complexity show the facts and simultaneously educate people through detail. As a write, please know that I do not see myself as an expert but rather an avenue for us to understand and analyze complex scenarios together.

You see, I have stories that I want to share with you. And when I tell those stories, I want you to pause, reflect and maybe even laugh or cry. But, whatever you feel I want it to move you in an active way that builds, promotes and engages.

So, get comfortable, make some tea and muse with me!