Let’s take a long walk back into history some 30,000 years ago when Sadaka, an African warrior, formed the first bow stave out of wood and tethered it to a string made out of antelope sinew to form a formidable and useful instrument. Working diligently and in secret, he continued to craft and test his new hunting piece until the bow and arrow proved superior to his current hunting weapon, the spear. On that happy day he became so excited with his new hunting instrument that he hurried back to his dwelling and shared the good news with his young wife, who had recently given birth to his first son. Seeing his invention for the first time, his wife blurted out in excitement a prophesy, “This thing you constructed will soon become the greatest step forward since we harnessed fire 875,000 years ago. It will rival the invention of the wheel–no doubt about it.” How did she know that? Oh yes, she’s the first prophetess.
A few days later Sadaka and the other warriors headed out of camp to the hunting grounds beyond the tall grass, beyond the winding stream, close to the big volcano several kilometers away. As he was the youngest warrior in the hunting party, he brought up the rear; that is, last in line. After a mid-morning, heart-thumping march, they stopped at a water hole to rest and quench their thirst. As they rested, the always vigilant leader of the hunting party took a quick look around to check his men’s readiness to continue the trek to the hunting ground. When he came to Sadaka, the hunting chief noticed his youngest member in the party lacked a spear.
“Sadaka! he yelled, “where’s your spear? How are you going to hunt without your spear?” You will be useless to us today! Why did you come unprepared?
“I brought a new hunting weapon,” he explained, “much better and deadlier than my old spear, so I though I’d bring it with me today to test if it’s really as good as I believe it might be.” After his statement he lowered his eyes and head in deference to his leader and waited for his superior to rule as to his future presence among them.
The leader of the hunting party gave him the eye, turned around and yelled, “Let’s go hunting!” He then spoke in a commanding voice, “Sadaka! keep up with us and don’t get in the way, or I’ll send you home.” Off they went to find meat for their wives & children.
The hunt went well and everyone was extremely impressed by Sadaka’s new hunting weapon, which he called the bow & arrow. The arrow traveled so fast and so far that the amazed warriors found it difficult to follow its flight all the way to its target. Only one problem developed: the sinew string broke during the last shot. Everyone laughed about his new device failing, but all agreed it had lots of potential.
In his spare time back at the campsite Sadaka worked to perfect his new invention, the bow & arrow. Using his extraordinary skills in shaping & picking the right wood for his stave and strengthening his sinew string, he overcame all problems & produced a fine, useful instrument for putting meat on the table for his wife & growing son. He looked at the final product, smiled, and felt the satisfaction that comes with a job successfully and well done. He fell asleep that night with a satisfied mind. Soon, and very soon, others tried to make a bow like Sadaka, but no-one else could make a bow like the Sadaka bow.
It wasn’t long before the leader of the pack paid him a visit and asked for a favor. “I tried to make a bow for myself,” the chief said, “but the stave didn’t turn out well. Do me a favor and make me one like yours. I’ll excuse you absence from our hunting party until you complete your assignment.”
Sadaka, knowing his place and desiring to please the chief, got to work right away making the chief a beautiful & efficient bow & arrow set. A week later the chief paid a visit to the young warrior’s dwelling to pick-up his new prize. The following day Sadaka instructed the chief on the proper way to use the new hunting weapon and took him to an open field for live practice. The young warrior turned out to be an excellent instructor as well as a skilled craftsman. The chief warrior was very pleased with his new hunting weapon and proudly used it in all his future hunts, though he continued to carry his familiar spear.
In the following weeks a friend came by, then a brother-in-law, followed by another chieftain, & et cetera & et cetera, all asking Sadaka to make them a bow like his. In no time at all a new one-man operation began. Sadaka kept so busy making bows that he had no time for hunting, no time for his lovely & lonely wife, and no time for relaxation or recreation. He just had time for one thing & one thing only: making bows & arrows and instructing other warriors how to effectively use them.
Like all men in prehistoric times and modern men today, he began feeling abused and taken for granted as he worked hard to provide everyone else with bows & arrows while he received very little in return for all his efforts. Everyone was benefitting from all his work except him. Naturally, he soon tired of being taken advantage of by his chief & fellow tribesmen. They demanded his labor and skills as if they had a right to the most important resources in his life: his time, his talents, and his self interest. The rest of the community prospered while Sadaka slowly and steadily became irritable in his personal relationships, unkept in his appearance, neglectful of his wife, and sloppy in his work.
One day his wife approached him and threatened to take their child and go back to her family if he didn’t straighten up. He explained his situation to her the best he could, but all arguments were in vain, and she left the next morning. Poor Sadaka, the future looked bright just a few months ago. Ever since he invented the bow & arrow his life had turned to crap. He laid down under a small shade tree and fell asleep with a heavy heart.
He didn’t know it, but his fame had traveled far and wide by prehistoric measures. His bow & arrow invention was the talk of the land, a small area now in the country of Kenya. The small tribe down the creek wanted to talk to him about coming to their small encampment to manufacture bows & arrows for them and their allies. They would reward him amply with a hut, a new wife, plenty of meat, roots, & fruit to eat. Most importantly, they would allow him two days off every week just to relax, play, and watch the wrestling matches held each week at the biggest camp down the big river. They would provide transportation in their big dugout canoes. they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
The next day his old warrior friends & the chief looked on as warrior Sadaka left their small campsite. They hated to see him go, but they finally realized his worth & wished they had rewarded him for his work & skills. The chief learned it was wise to reward talented and gifted individuals like Sadaka who made their life better, their life safer, their life more productive, and their life more enjoyable. Sadaka never returned to his home tribe. They lost a precious member due to neglect and a failure to understand human nature.
Let this story be a lesson to all: Don’t neglect natural law & the desire for people to be free to pursue their own happiness. I’ve Gotta Be Me sung by Sammy Davis, Jr.
Wayfarin’ Stranger: garland dale