26 Apr E6 Camran – Loyalty and Desire to Defend
Tales of the Kingdom of Camran
Gerald the Guardian, the hero of our tale, whose loyalty and desire to defend preserve the well-being of the villagers on days just like today…
Today was Tuesday.
Not many celebrated the unique merits of Tuesdays, but Gerald, the Guardian of Camran, certainly did. It was on Tuesdays that he got to lead one of his favorite practices: collecting Statements of Support.
Many, many years prior, Gerald had instilled a statute in the Kingdom of Camran that, once a week, the Guardian would collect Statements of Support from the villagers. The purpose of this was to take time to hear both the praises and occasional complaints of the villagers, in order to affirm those in leadership, and point out ways that the village could be improved.
There were many things about collecting the statements that Gerald loved. First, he loved being able to count on one, steady task each week that never changed, and always proved to be useful to the kingdom. Gerald was a dependable and hard-working Guardian, and it pleased him to be able to perform this task so consistently and thoroughly. Reporting the Statements of Support to Bartley, the Baron, was a fulfilling moment indeed. Secondly, Gerald himself often became anxious about the attitudes of the villagers. He wondered frequently whether or not they were happy with the way Camran was being run. He even questioned whether or not others were supportive of himself and his role in the village. Collecting the statements often did more than affirm the feelings the villagers had about the kingdom… they often revealed the supportive feelings they had toward Gerald himself.
Today, like every Tuesday, Gerald dutifully began his day by checking in with Bartley, the Baron, before canvassing the village. But as soon as Bartley answered the door of his dwelling, Gerald could sense that today would be different than Tuesdays past. Bartley looked ragged, stressed, and reluctant to take the time to check in with Gerald. This was a change that Gerald found quite unwelcome.
“It’s Tuesday,” Gerald said, definitively, as if this would snap the Baron out of this unexpected mood.
“You’re here to check in before collecting Statements of Support,” Bartley sighed. “Gerald, I’ve been thinking. I don’t know if this is the best use of our resources, or the most efficient way to hear from our people.”
As he heard these words, Gerald felt as if his heart had dropped to the floor. This was something he counted on… something he loved…
“But we’ve always…” Gerald stammered, trying to find the right words. “Why change… it’s… it’s tradition!”
“I don’t care whether or not it’s tradition, Gerald. I care whether or not it’s the best way of doing things.” Bartley sounded tired. Gerald knew that this was not the time to present his case, even if he could order his words well.
“Just let me, one more time, today,” said Gerald, trying to buy more time.
“Today, Gerald,” said Bartley, closing his door, “but today could be the last time.”
Gerald trudged down the path, feeling anxious and insecure. Not only might he have to forego the ongoing words of support of the villagers, but now, in this moment, he didn’t have the support of Bartley, his superior. It was a horrible feeling. Gerald just couldn’t allow him to change this ongoing practice, not after so many years. Today, like every other day, he would do his duty thoroughly, and he would show Bartley why he should continue doing it in the future as well.
It was early, so most of the villagers would still be in their dwellings, preparing for the day. Gerald went in the same order he always did, starting with Hannah, the Healer. His knock was answered almost immediately.
“Gerald! So glad you’re here!” said Hannah, welcoming him inside. “Can I get you anything? Have you eaten breakfast?”
“I’m here to collect Statements of Support, like every Tuesday,” said Gerald. “No need for breakfast.”
“Right, right!” said Hannah, brightly. “Well, I would love to give you mine. The Kingdom of Camran is being run beautifully, and I would like to offer my services wherever I could be helpful!”
“Thank you, Hannah,” said Gerald, formally. “We appreciate your support, and will notify you if any services are needed.” Gerald nodded to the smiling Hannah, then allowed her to expound upon her willingness and offer him homemade rolls before he continued on his way.
Without delay or distraction, Gerald gathered statements from each villager in turn, from Peter the Politician, all the way to Isaac the Inventor. It was such a comfort; travelling the same path he had taken each Tuesday for so many years, hearing the thoughts and affirmations of his fellow man. He thought of what a good, time-tested practice it had become, and of how skeptical he was of changing something so deeply ingrained in the routine of the village.
When the collection was complete, Gerald returned to Bartley’s door, prepared to champion his cause, trying his best to silence the small voice of self-doubt that had been ebbing at him all day.
Bartley answered his door, again looking quite worn, but Gerald began his presentation with all of the confidence he could muster.
“Bartley, my Baron. I come here to share with you that you and your administrative team have the overwhelming support of your villagers. Peter reminded me that your leadership, under his brilliant influence, has maintained positive relationships with the surrounding villages for almost a decade now. Meryl would like to comment that the grounds look more beautiful than ever before, a sentiment with which Philo enthusiastically agreed. Siobhan and William both commented on how peaceful the village has been lately, and Isaac and Hannah both would like to extend their services wherever they could be used. Our village is running so smoothly, Baron. Our villagers are safe, and happy. Why, sir, would you want to change anything, including the tradition of collecting these statements?”
Gerald took a deep breath, letting his words sink in. Even as he spoke, he could see how his report of the statements nourished the spirit of the Baron. Surely he could feel the positive impact they had.
Gerald knew, without a doubt, that this is how he wanted to continue spending his Tuesdays, as long as he could. He needed the security of knowing he would be able to.
“You have reminded me of the importance of this practice,” said Bartley. “We shall continue it.”
Gerald felt a warmth wash over him. Everything was right again. He had the renewed support and security within his relationship with the Baron, and no longer had to wonder what he would be doing next Tuesday, and the Tuesday after that, and every Tuesday after.