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

Published 2:14 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Once upon a time (because that is the proper way to begin all good fairy tales, flights of fantasy, and tall tales of make-believe), a race of elves lived in the Kingdom of Harmonium – a land of promise, abundance and opportunity. By and large, elves were good-natured, hard-working and liked things to be the way things were supposed to be – and things had been the way they were supposed to be for a very long time.

As it had always been, Harmonium was divided into several tribes, with each tribe comfortably living life according to their own customs, traditions and values. Each village raised their children according to those close-held tribal values and traditions – making them stronger with each subsequent generation. However, when every elf reached the Age-of-Choice, they were expected to make The Choice – selecting which tribe’s values and lifestyles best matched up with their own individual attitudes. Every four years, all elves over the Age-of-Choice had an opportunity to reconsider their view of the way things were supposed to be, and select another tribe. Usually, as young elves matured, met mates and raised families, they settled into a single tribe whose customs, traditions and values best matched up with how they wanted to live. From that point on, every four years when the Choice rolled around, they comfortably chose to stay with their tribe, live in their village, and keep things the way things were supposed to be.

For the most part, life within each tribe was harmonious and pleasant – shared values and attitudes have a way of making that happen. However, interaction between the tribes was not quite as simple. Some tribes were “Nighters” and tended to conduct business with likeminded nocturnal tribes. Likewise, other tribes were “Dayers” and preferred to trade with tribes who agreed that this was the way things were supposed to be. Some tribes worshipped the sound of the Wind, believing the Wind to be the Original Source. Some tribes worshipped Warmth, believing it brought a resurrection of life after the cold death of winter. Some tribes preferred to ignore the subject of religion, entirely – it was too confusing. In order for the Kingdom of Harmonium to continue to prosper, something had to be done to unite all of the tribes – regardless of time-of-day proclivities or religious penchants.

Elves did not enjoy discord. The Harmonium national motto was, “Please don’t bother ss – thanks for understanding.” With so many tribes, doing so many things, so many different ways, things were not the way things were supposed to be. A summit was called to bring together the leaders of all the tribes, with the goal of finding a way to get all of the tribes of Harmonium in sync. However, due to calendar issues such as each tribe celebrating different and disconnected holidays, a mish-mash of time zones and daylight preferences, along with a plethora of other socio-economic incompatibilities, the tribal leaders could not come to an agreement on when or where to meet.

One tribe of elves were completely different from all of the rest – the Pols. Their traditions were to keep their secrets to themselves. Tribal members rarely chose to leave, and very few new ones were allowed to join. They were the smallest tribe in all of Harmonium and were rumored to have mystical skills, such as the ability to simultaneously talk out of both sides of their mouths, and using lots of words to say nothing at all. Outwardly, Pols always smiled, eagerly shook other elves hands, and posed for pictures while kissing baby elves. However, none of the other Elves really knew anything about the Pols – and, for the Pols, that was the way things were supposed to be

However, more than any other tribe, the Pols were very skilled at one particular thing – they knew how to get things done. The Pols discretely contacted each tribal leader and unselfishly offered to shoulder the daunting task of uniting all the tribes into one cohesive kingdom. Each of the tribal leaders thought this was a great idea because it meant none of them had to bother with it – and things could return to the way things were supposed to be.

Of course, that really wasn’t the end of the story…