Saturday, February 21, 2009

It is about LOVING not being RIGHT - The Indian Talking Stick

The smell of residual smoke is in the air. It is tense. Angry voices can be heard. Far off drums are beating. The sound of stone scraping against stone is heard where the grown men huddle. Younger men are eager. Older men are solemn. The ground seems to vibrate under scurrying feet. It is humid and difficult to breathe. Older women pack dishes and clothing into messy piles and rush them into the tent. Wishing they could say something, but knowing, now is not the time. Older children push smaller children into dark tents. Babies are hushed.

Boundaries have been crossed. All could be gone. In 5 minutes? In and hour? Tomorrow? An entire people could be gone, forgotten.

Fate arrives. Angry voices are yelling, screeching. Boastful young men beat on their chest. Weapons are shaken in the air. You don’t have to understand the Cherokee language to know war is at hand.

An old man reaches from a large bag and slowly pulls out the Talking Stick. Everyone knows what this means. In an almost instant, bodies sit; yelling turns to hot glares and weapons sit on folded legs.

Everyone knows the rules and is willing to abide by them. The person with the Talking Stick gets to speak first. They get to speak as long as they wish until they feel their point has been made. No else may speak, only listen, until the talking stick is handed off to the next. Time passes. Some yell when they speak, some become frustrated, some are calm, but all get an opportunity. The yelling slowly fades and weapons sitting in laps become something to pick and twiddle instead of an object to injure.

It is over and anti-climatic at the least. Days of endless talking have resulted in tribes shuffling down a dusty path. Some young are disappointed; they wanted to show their new found strength. The wise, though, are solemn and relieved; they go hug their families. They understand that life is about love, not about who is right.

The disaster has been averted. This time it worked. It doesn’t always work, but this time it did.

I need to think about this. Does the Indian Talking Stick need a place in my family? Jesus understands love. He was willing not to just comprise, but to give it all up for love. Even for people who were determined to be right.

Here is a cute
craft tutorial that explains how to build an Indian Talking Stick.

Indians would make their own Taking Stick, decorating the talking stick to symbolize their life, accomplishments and strengths.
This site gives some great ideas for embellishing the Talking Stick. Have your kids reflect on their accomplishments and strengths as they decorate. Your family could even add decorations as conflicts are resolved.

Thanks for visiting!


Katie said...

Good post enjoyed reading your thoughts and it was fun to see the tutorial link too, thanks for including it. Also I love that organizer wallet you have up on Etsy lovely colors and a great idea. You have great taste in blog design, I must say...we have the same one.

I'm over from Homemaker Monday and noticed your a secondary teacher. I just started up a new blog with my friend, for parents and educators to share activities and lessons and since secondary education is usually under represented on it we'd love for you to contribute to it. You can check us out at:

JUST ME, THE MOM said...

Great post - kind of reminds me of something I did a long time ago when my kids were little - we had a special stuffed bear that only came out for disagreements. He could help mend hurt feelings and sibling disagreements.

I just finished Dave Ramsey's book - it's sooo good. And humorous also!


نجيم فكري said...

good share and nice blog !
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