Sunday, 4 July 2010

What's in a Name? (Part 9) - Final section

‘Of course I have. They are well-known names, heroes of the people, and …’ the Ruler stopped in mid-sentence, immobile. Then, with a shocked look on his face, he said, ‘Oh …!’

The Stranger sat back in his chair and stretched languorously, as would a satisfied cat. He closed his eyes and smiled.

‘I think you understand well enough, don’t you?’ he asked of the Ruler.

‘Oh yes, indeed I do,’ the Ruler nodded. ‘But, how to solve the problem? How could I have made such a blundering mistake?’

‘You were only trying to do the right thing, but there is one thing that you forget.’ The Stranger responded. ‘Through the years your people have forgotten that other people are just as important as you are. Even if they are your enemies – or at least, their ancestors were. You will need to work hard to make your co-habitants of this planet – your neighbours – your allies. One sure way of not doing this is to install a democratic system. A majority will always win, and you will always have people who are unhappy. You will need to work together for unity.’

‘This is a hard task you set me,’ the Ruler replied. ‘But I know what I must do. As the Ruler, I must start with myself. I myself am guilty of hating the Denebians, but now I recognise that they are of the same species as I am. They too are human. As such, I should not – cannot – hate them. There are things we can learn from them, and there is much they too can learn from us.’

The Stranger stood on the hill, overlooking Madgar. He had a satisfied smile on his face. He knew now that everything would go well with this planet. The two groups of people would now work together to build a new future for themselves. His meeting with the Ruler had gone extremely well, and he knew that the Ruler would now work to unite the two people-groups under his care.

Slowly he climbed into the flighter, started up its engines, and returned to where he had come from.

Friday, 2 July 2010

What's in a Name? (Part 8)

‘Is there a war somewhere? Do you need more recruits for the army?’ the Ruler continued to query, as the Stranger continued to reply to the negative. ‘How can I help you?’

‘The matters I come on are closer to home for you. But I am hoping that we can solve the problems to the satisfaction of all,’ the Stranger responded. ‘Tell me,’ he glanced shrewdly at the Ruler, ‘what are your popularity ratings?’

‘Well, it’s funny you should ask that,’ replied the Ruler. ‘Actually, I’m doing very well. Amongst my people, that is. The Denebians … they seem to hate me. I try to reason with them, but so few of them are enlightened that it is almost impossible – and they just don’t understand!’ He threw up his hands in despair.

‘They don’t understand what?’ prompted the Stranger gently.

‘That I’m trying to do what the policies ask of me,’ the Ruler continued. ‘In the policies it says that we must try to do all we can to live at peace with one another. My people find that they cannot do this with all the towns and cities having the names of people who we were taught to hate. They therefore proposed other names, which were put to a democratic vote. Those names won the vote, and so I am implementing them.’

‘Have you considered carefully the source of these alternative names? Kensurit, for example?’ the Stranger put the question quietly.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

What's in a Name? (Part 7)

‘Please forgive my tardiness, kind sir, but I have been busy with matters of planetary importance,’ the Ruler said as he entered the room. He glanced at the Stranger, and did a mental double-take. ‘What are you doing here? I hope …’ he trailed off.

He started again. ‘Come in, come in. Anything I can do for you?’

‘Not at all, my dear friend,’ the Stranger replied as he took the seat offered to him by the Ruler. ‘I am just curious about some developments that have been brought to my attention over the last few years, and I thought I’d come and investigate for myself.’

The Ruler looked concerned. ‘I hope that everything is in order? The tithes? The reports? I have been doing everything that the policies dictate!’

The Stranger shook his head to each of the queries. ‘No, everything is in order there. Those points are irrelevant to my business here. I am more concerned with other matters – more pressing matters.’