This is a story that was told to me many years ago. I am certain it has been written down elsewhere and has many variants to various nuances of the story. I am a poor story teller, however, I do believe that I have captured the essence of the story. The story is told from a Native American perspective but is message is equally appropriate to all cultures. Please accept the various inaccuracies and exaggerations in the same grain as we accept those of stories in our own cultures.


Recently, some young men from the community went to the elders and asked "Men are fighting their brothers all over the world. Where have they failed? Who is to blame for this time of trouble?"

The elders gestured to the medicine wheel that was at the head of the hall and began to explain the origin of people.

Years ago, before time was measured, all the people were of one color - not any color that exists today, it could have been green or purple - the exact color does not matter. They lived as one people. The gods then divided them up into four groups and sent them to the four corners of the world to learn and grow.

To the east was sent the people who became the yellow men. The east of the medicine wheel represents the air. There are people who live in the mountains there - the tallest mountains in the world. The people who live up there make the best use of the air that they have and at times seem to live off of the air in scare months.

To the south, the red men were sent. The south is the element of earth. The red man showed others up to make use of the land when they came here. Every day, new medicines are discovered deep in the jungles, that the people of that part knew about since the dawn of time.

To the west the black men were sent. Water is the element of the west. The great pyramids of Egypt were built with the help of water. Today, many of our lives were saved by a black man by the name Dr. Charles Richard Drew who worked with blood - that is mostly made up of water.

To the north went the white men where they learned about fire and all of its uses. All of our modern world revolves around the discoveries that they have made. Fire has been harnessed into electricity. Benjamin Franklin was the first to have harness electricity. It was Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb.

The young men, after listening to this story then demanded to know what relevance it had. They protested that it did not help them see who was to blame for the conflicts.

The elders then explained: This is the time when all the people are coming back together. We were all once one people, and we shall be again. The blame for the cause of fighting cannot be assigned to one group and have another group innocent, for we are all one. It is the misunderstanding of all. If it is anyone who should be held to be blamed for conflict it is those who seek to blame others rather than working to understanding.

Upon hearing this the young men left, having gotten their answer.

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