Haiwatha and the Sticks

A long long time ago, in North America, there lived a great leader called Haiwatha. He was a powerful man, but he had a terrible problem. His country and the next country were at war. Haiwatha had killed many of his enemy but he had also suffered greatly. Haiwatha had lost his parents and his pregnant wife. And Haiwatha was tired of war. He wanted peace. But he knew that his enemy would not accept a peace agreement. And so he had a big problem.

What do you do when you have a big problem in your life?

Haiwatha decided to go deep into Nature, because in a mysterious way, sometimes Nature can give us the answer to our problems. So he crossed the fields, he swam the mighty river, and climbed deep into the mountains. Haiwatha spent many days in the mountains, thinking about how he could make peace in his country.

One cold morning, Haiwatha wanted to make a fire. So he went and picked up wooden sticks. As he picked up the sticks, he looked at the pieces of wood and suddenly realized how he could bring peace to his country.

Carrying the sticks, Haiawatha ran down the mountain, swam the mighty river, walked through the fields and walked into his enemy’s village. This of course was a very dangerous thing to do because his enemy could kill him easily.

The leader of the village came to Haiwatha and Haiwatha said, “let’s have peace, let’s stop fighting, let’s end the war.”

The leader looked at Haiwatha and said, “No there shall be no peace. You have killed my people, you have killed my family and we want revenge.”

Haiwatha expected this answer, and he took one thin stick from the group of sticks. And he said to his enemy, “I will accept war but only if you can break this one thin stick.”

Haiwatha laughed because he was a powerful man and he could easily break the stick. And he raised the stick above his head. Just before his enemy broke the stick, Haiwatha said, “Wait.”

And Haiwatha picked up the large group of sticks, and he carefully put that one thin stick into the middle of the group. Haiwatha said, “Now try to break the stick.”

And now because the thin stick was protected by the group of sticks, his enemy could not break that one stick, no matter how hard he tried.

Haiwatha said, “We are like sticks because when we are divided we are easily broken. But when we come together, we are powerful. Let’s at least try to work for peace.”

And his enemy saw the wisdom of Haiwatha’s words, and this was the beginning of the peace journey.

The moral of the story is, we people of the 21st century are also like sticks. When we gather our role models around us like sticks, we become more powerful, too.”

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