WILSON: The way things were supposed to be: Part two

Published 10:00 am Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Kingdom of Individual Tribes of Harmonium was comprised of several elf tribes, with each Tribe comfortably living life according to their own preferred customs, traditions, values and leadership. Elves liked things to be the way things were supposed to be, and chose to live with the tribe whose way of life best matched their own inclinations. However, things got a little complicated when individual tribes tried to conduct business with other tribes. Each tribe celebrated different holidays, worshipped (or did not worship) different deities and traded using different currency. One of the few things they had in common was speaking the same language, albeit spoken with different accents, dialects, slangs and slurs. Added to that, one tribe muddied things up even more by speaking a different language, entirely.

The tribal leaders all agreed, Harmonium needed to be brought into sync. However, calendar issues, socio-economic incompatibilities, and a general lack of urgency kept the Leaders from coming to an agreement on when or where to meet. That was when the Pol Tribe took unnoticeable advantage of the crisis by volunteering to roll up their sleeves and solve the pesky problem. All the tribal leaders agreed, “If things get to stay the way things are supposed to be — and we don’t have to bother with rolling up our own sleeves — then go ahead and solve the problem.”

The least complicated, but most important, challenge was communication — combining the various languages, dialects, and slangs into one, easy to speak, common tongue. At first, the tribal leaders complained that this wasn’t the deal they had agreed upon. Things would not be the way things were supposed to be. The Pols smiled, shook their hands, patted them on the back, and reassured each leader that things were exactly the way things were supposed to be…just a tiny bit different — but this would make things much better (and wasn’t that really how things were supposed to be?).

The leaders all agreed the change was inconvenient. However, if it made things better (and was equally inconvenient for everyone), then they would accept the change — but just this one time.

Next, the Pols explained to the tribal leaders (in a way that made it seem to be their own idea) they needed a standardized money system and, even more importantly, wanted the Pols to take the strain off the leadership’s shoulders by managing all the tiresome and boring details. The Pols smiled, shook hands, patted backs and reassured the Tribes that things would be exactly the way things were supposed to be…just a tiny bit different — but this would make things much better (and wasn’t that really how things were supposed to be?).

All of the tribal leaders agreed, “If things get to stay the way things are supposed to be — and we don’t have to bother with the boring details — then go ahead and solve the problem.”

Eventually, with a shared language and common currency, various elves, from various tribes, began working and socializing with other elves from other tribes. This caused an unintentional collision between unfamiliar beliefs and cultures. Rather than wait for the cultures to sort it all out amongst themselves, the Pols stepped in and told the tribal leaders (in a way that made it seem to be their own idea) a committee should be formed to meld the best of all tribal customs and beliefs into one, unifying, package of values and philosophy.

The leaders all said, “We sure had a good idea with that one…but it seems like a lot of work.”

The Pols replied, “No worries…we’ll take care of it.”

Slowly and methodically, the Pols converted the Kingdom of Individual Tribes of Harmonium into the Unified Dominium of Harmonium. They took over the day-to-day responsibilities of keeping things running smoothly — making life for the Leaders much less complicated (and much more financially pleasant). True to their promise, things stayed the way things were supposed to be — except for a few subtle, barely noticeable, now and then, here and there, every once-in-awhile, dramatic and fundamentally life altering changes. With each adjustment, the Elves had their hands shook, backs slapped, and were reassured that things were just a tiny bit different — but this would make things much better (and wasn’t that really how things were supposed to be?).