The Elders Speak

Written by: Jim Fish

The elders speak in timeless tones to reconcile the past, And offer truths from which we choose to fill the roles we're cast. But though the sage will muse how well the truths can guide our way, So few will heed and recognize the worth of what they say. The elders speak a sacred tongue in soft and whispered tone, Of olden days and simpler ways, of souls who now are gone. They tell of lies and blunders made throughout the ages passed, And beg we put their truths to pen, for all to know at last. They come to me at varied times and occupy my thought With facts and lore of times before, and other things they've brought. They seek to put a record straight or make an error right, When history's lacking in some way and needs a ray of light. At first, I’d cringe in shock and awe, was overwhelmed and dazed. At times, I’d feel too small to deal with issues that they raised. "What should I do?" I asked myself, “Why should I care at all?” But time has shown that I should trust the wisdom of their call. I honed my skills and craftsmanship, and dedicated time. I lent my pen and acumen, and love of word and rhyme. I judged them not for wrongs they did, their ignorance or views, For though they erred, the lessons learned are much to dear to lose. It's not so much the words they say, or lives they lived and lost, Or ways they tried to go and guide, no matter what it cost. But what they learned from what they did and left for us to muse, Much more than gold and treasured gems, are lessons wrought with truths.
I believe many of us charged with making our history palatable for the generations to come get far too involved in our own sensitivities. We seem to place inordinate significance on our judgement of our ancestors' ignorance, wrongs done to one another, and politics. As a result, we overlook the value of the lessons learned and passed along with their legacy. It is the cost of the wrongs done, the lives lost, and the errors made that inflates the value of the lessons from which we have to learn... and leaving those lessons in the past is yet a greater cost, or loss, as the case may be.