When The Authority Lost Its Grip
Some time ago, people were told they were dying of thirst. They were told this by the authorities. The authorities had always been trusted, after all they were the source of all truth. They had been given the power to tell the truth to be trusted as the truth tellers because the people recognized in the leaders in the beginning Wisdom that cared for all.
That was a long time ago. The leaders became convinced that their wisdom was vast and that they always knew best what the people needed to know and to do but most importantly to think.
When some people heard the announcement that there was no water, that there was a scarcity of the resources needed to live they were surprised because they didn’t feel they were missing anything.
They didn’t know what to do because after all the authority told them what to do and had always seemed that they were telling the truth before.
There was a woman named Glenda. She lived a little distance from the center of town. She was kind, trusted and many knew her as a wise woman. After the announcement of the shortages, she looked around and she saw that her garden was thriving and her well was the fullest it had ever been and that her goats were yielding the greatest amount of milk they ever had. Glenda became curious.
Curiosity had never been dangerous before. Because there was such a vast difference between what the authorities said and her reality for the first time she felt her curiosity may take her somewhere that could change everything.
Everyone knew that the authority wasn’t perfect. But they were accustomed to having their lives managed and their reality guided, shaped even by the people whom they trusted. It wasn’t even that the trust was earned. They were just used to trusting the authority.
Glenda met one of her neighbors and asked “How’s your water? How are your crops and how are your chickens?”
The neighbor leaned in a little closer and said, “Just fine, how are yours?”
Glenda replied, “just fine”.
A look passed between them. A look of knowing that could not be denied. There was a greater truth than the one they were being told. Without saying a word to each other they decided each in their own way to investigate. Was there really this vast lack the authority said there was?
Why was this so important? When the lack was described everyone was told they would have to shrink their lives and not go about their ordinary day. They would have to shrink themselves and live tightened. This was because in the midst of the scarcity sacrifices and limitation would become the letter of the law.
The authority had a knack for getting people to think in certain ways and then to act as if by command to do the bidding of what seemed to be for the highest good of all concerned. After all this was a democracy.
Glenda casually, with gentle curiosity, asked more of her friends “How’s your water?” And everyone said, “I have enough!”
As the afternoon became the evening tremors of uncertainty spread out across the town. Perhaps the authority had just made a mistake.
The next day with even greater force of message, the authorities said there is not enough. We will tell you how to act and what to do and most importantly how to think. This is not a time for freedom. This is a time for you to do what we say. Your lives may depend on following instructions.
Days went by, more and more people became afraid. They started to live in the smallness they were told was required to survive. But Glenda and some of her friends felt they were seeing a greater and greater lie. What were they to do?
The very essence of what had been freedom, the essence of the song in their hearts was being erased by a story they knew wasn’t true.
Glenda decided to risk going to one of the leaders of the town. She said with great respect and politeness, “Could there be an error?”
The leader became angry that she could possibly question the truth that the authority was presenting. Suddenly she felt afraid.
The community had a large well. Glenda knew she must show people there was no shortage even though she knew it would challenge the power of the authority.
Early one morning she started going to every person she knew and she knew a lot of people. She told them something is wrong. Our freedom is being taken away for reasons that are not true.
People of course were curious, outraged and just wondered what could be happening. She led a large group up to the well, the well of life for the community. When they got there, it was surrounded by guards. This had never happened before. This was their well.
The guards were part of the community, people like them. Glenda asked the head guard, “Have you looked?” He said no of course not. I am fulfilling my duty and protecting this valuable resource.
She looked at him and loved him. There was no threat. She placed a hand on his shoulder and said, “Let us look together. Everyone walked up to the mouth of the well. The covering was rolled back and the sweet smell of fresh water greeted them all. On further examination, it was discovered the well was as abundant as it had ever been.
Can you imagine how everyone felt? There was more than enough water and everything was secure. There was no lack.
Can you imagine how you would feel if you had been told that the most precious parts of your life, the waters of life itself, were suddenly in short supply and that unless you followed the rules you would surely die? Not just rules about saving water, rules about what might seem possible or not. Rules that would take your natural creative life force and cut away so much of it that it would just be a memory from your childhood.
What were they to do? They were questioning now with faithful truth the basis of how the authority had ruled them. When the authorities heard of the truth getting out they became angry and they said that none of it was true. They showed charts and graphs and maps that substantiated everything they said.
Little by little, Glenda brought everyone she knew to the well which was now becoming the well of truth, the well of free-flowing abundance that ran everywhere they lived.
No one desired to hurt anyone. The authority used its voice and power though to frighten people. But because of the slow consistent truth telling that Glenda and her friends spoke, there was momentum, a change. People began to remember that they were whole and had everything they needed. They began to remind themselves they were content and were not under threat.
Now as this movement grew, the authority and all those within it became frightened that their lie would be seen. The Authority knew they had been lying. They had been doing it for so long that they had forgotten for themselves what the taste of truth was like. They had fallen in love with the image of power being the authority seemed to have.
Months went by and little by little people turned away from how they had been governed and turned toward each other. They remembered the clear look of loving knowing that a friend’s eyes would have when they spoke the truth. Many began to remember how good a pregnant question really was and that without delicious uncertainty life became a flatland of tired predictable reruns.
Was there a revolution? Yes, in the kindest of ways.
By turning towards the truth of what the people knew in their hearts and away from the authority’s nagging voice of control and domestication, they experienced a renaissance of laughter and kindness, wild abundance.
The authority was abandoned for the great well of truth some called it even the holy water of truth that their well of life gave them.
One by one people would sit by the well and see their reflections in the waters of life and they would know with clear and present certainty that the sacred waters of the well were alive in them that very instant. They were the walking testimony of the waters of life itself.
And what became of the authority? Little by little those people returned to the well of truth and step by step forgiveness prevailed as understanding grew.
They all learned that when the vast and glorious mystery of life itself is explained away, life takes a back seat to powers that seek to control and limit the very sacred fluids which are the holy water of life.
In Love, gratitude and blessings,
David and Susan
Please share your comments below
Wow! Perfect for today and all days. How true for me. Love this story.
What a perfect metaphor forthe times in which we live!
Thanks for sharing this wisdom, which I will definitely spread…..
All the best,