The king raised his hand to stop her. "Tell me, my daughter," said the king kindly, but firmly, "what kind of world would that be where no one would have the means for self-defense?" The king spoke to the child in front of the entire noble assembly.
The child spoke up louder now so that everyone would hear her answer. She also stood up upon a chair to be seen by everyone and told the assembly about the butterflies she had observed, which "come to us from the meadows of Gourdland while they roost in the forests of the royal realm of Greenfield." The child then counseled the king that he should not send spies to Gourdland anymore, but messengers, messengers that should tell the ruler of Gourdland that his people have free access to the sea "across our land." They should also be told that they would be welcome to have some of "our timber" to build their homes with in exchange for the products of their land. "Thereby everyone would become richer," said the girl.
The king being somewhat of an honorable man considered for a moment what the child said. He, himself, had seen the butterflies by the river. What the child said seemed to be true.
Quickly, he conferred with his council of royal advisors who were known throughout the land for their wisdom. The advisors told the king that the suggestion was unusual, but they agreed with the simple logic of the child. They told the king also that the child has a greater claim to rule in this matter than the king had himself, since the king was old while the child has an innate responsibility to itself to build a world in which it can live for a very long time, since it was destined to inherit this world.
The king agreed and asked his daughter to step forward. He repeated what the advisors had said and made a royal degree in her name that every man in the kingdom should work towards peace by creating an honorable and honest unity with the people of the neighboring kingdom, and to do it in such a fashion that the other kingdom would substantially benefit so that everyone would thereby become enriched.
The Court Master stepped forward at this point and stood before the girl and without saying a word bowed deeply.
"You shouldn't bow to me," said the girl. "I'm but a child."
"Oh, I must bow before you, to honor you," he said.
"But you never have in the past," the girl answered.
"In the past you have never honored yourself," said the Master. "Now you do. Therefore must I honor you. I must do so to honor myself."
"You speak in riddles," said the girl.
"No I don't speak in riddles," said the Master. "If I do not honor what you have become, I would dishonor myself. I would proclaim to the world that I do not recognize the honorable achievement that you have wrought, that anyone can see in your face, which you yourself honor by recognizing its value. I propose that we bring this honor before the king of Gourdland."
"How are we going to do this?" said the king astonished.
"Your daughter has shown the way," said the Master. "We shall bring a gift with us that honors the king of Gourdland and all his people and honors us in one simple step."
"Ah," said the girl. "I know exactly what this step would be that would honor both us and them."
The girl gestured Vico to stand before her. She shook his hand. "We shall present Vico's steel-making technology to the people of Gourdland as a gift, because the same metal that makes excellent swords also makes excellent plowshares. We honor them with this gift, but more than that, we honor them with the trust that they will not forge swords of this metal as we promise to do likewise. We honor them with the respect that they will use this metal to uplift their lives as we will ours. In the flow of this honor and respect we will find greater riches than any gold will buy us. We bring to them our love, and so we honor ourselves." She bowed to the Court Master slightly with a smile.
She turned to her father. "Allow me to make a royal proclamation that we shall from henceforth all endeavor to greet one another in the manner that honors one another and do so honestly."
"And so shall it be," said the king, "and bowed to his daughter himself ever so slightly."
I put the manuscript down and told everyone that this, necessarily, would end the story, but end it with a new beginning.
"This is how a renaissance is being build," I said to Heather, who smiled in reply. "Our goal will have to be that we create an 'active' peace, which cannot be anything less than a profound renaissance."
"A renaissance is built on fostering unity on a foundation of truth," I said to Sylvia. "This is Steve's song. We bring to each other our love to enrich one-another's existence. This is what the princess had demanded of her father. This creates the foundation for unity. Without it there will never be peace. Peace is not possible without a renaissance, because it is a renaissance. And that's not a riddle," I added.
"Humanity needs to get back to a platform where people regard each other as human beings, with human fears and unmet human needs, but with human responses determined by love and caring for one-another. That's what a renaissance is, isn't it?"
"That's the only possible platform for unity there is, and the only platform on which we can survive," I said. "We must develop that foundation that takes us far beyond the sewer of synarchism."
Ross applauded my ending and my summation. "As I recall, we ourselves had once begun to build such a foundation on precisely such a platform," he said, referring to our pioneering efforts a dozen years earlier. "What happened to them? Why have we stopped building?"
Ross didn't need to remind us of our previous accomplishments and how we let them slip away. Everyone remembered those dynamic times when Steve and Ushi were still a part of our circle, when we were actively working together, when the world looked bright and a renaissance truly achievable.
"We need to rekindle the spiritual revolution that we once started," I replied to Ross. "We need to reestablish that spirit that will give us the freedom to do whatever must be done. Synarchism doesn't have a single universal principle to stand on, but we have the Principle of Universal Love to stand on. Why don't we anymore? We shouldn't be sitting here. We should be standing on street corners, educating people, changing their axioms. We should set up a newspaper chain and print the truth. We should form our own world organization and educate the governments of the world about the games that the fondi play with the lives of humanity, and teach them what honor really is. I bet there isn't one person in any government on the planet, who if he or she is honest would not agree with us wholeheartedly that not a single one of the 9,000 CIA operations of our secret government has made our country, or any other country in the world, a safer and richer place. There isn't one that anyone can name and say that this one was worthwhile, and honorable, an act of love and a step towards a renaissance. This means that the trillions of dollars that we spent have been wasted. So let's turn the ship around. Let's labor to dissolve the CIA as a mistake and dissolve the act that gave our country away at Christmas time in 1913, and lets reestablish once again our national Constitution, and as we do, bow to humanity to honor it with gifts of love."
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