Arrows. Spears. Missiles hurled with the express purpose of changing another's mind. They don't just want you to think differently, they want you to hurt for thinking or believing what you do.
In the mid 1800's the Comanche, tired of the white man's encroachment and disrespect, expressed their frustration by raining brutally destructive arrows, lances, and war clubs at their antagonists, mostly defenseless frontier farm families. They raped, plundered, tortured, and took captive the young farm children. They hoped that, since the peaceful talks with the whites were not effective, that their bloody and fearful raids upon the settlers would get the message across that the natives did not want them there. And it worked for a while, until the Texas Rangers figured out how to fight and defeat them. 50 years of guerilla warfare ended with the natives being herded like cattle and made to 'walk the white path.'
The seeds of their surrender were sewn in 1834 when a little known band of Comanche took captive a little girl named Cynthia Parker, whom they raised as one of their own. She married a chief and had 3 children by him, one of which was Quana, who became a very wily and wise chief. When he was a young brave of 14, the "blue coats" attacked his village and stole away his mother and little sister, Prairie Flower. Because of this an intense hatred burned inside the young brave, and he took many scalps from the white man. Quana's band was one of the last to be captured by U.S. Troops. Just before, he sought the will of the Great Spirit and it was confirmed to him that he should fight no more. Many warriors of his and of other bands were angry at Quana, the mighty warrior, for just giving up. He packed away his deadly missiles, and never again used them to destroy. He took up a new kind of weapon that helped to settle his people and make peace, rather than discord. He began to build bridges instead of burning them - with his words. For the remaining 30 some years of Quana's life, he advocated for his people, even though it was very hard, and became most beloved of both his native people and his Americans, which he considered himself to be.
Words are merely non-material objects we use. We can hurl them at each other to damage like arrows and spears, or we can rub them on each other like sav on a wound to heal. Mostly we hurl them. We do so out of fear, out of ignorance, to defend our position, our 'territory.' We always think we know, and that we know who the enemy is. Republicans, Democrats, Christians, Muslims, White privilege, Black Lives Matter. We worship our politics above our principles, by a large degree, or religious-ize them. Deep in our hearts we know what really matters, and we know Who put that knowledge there. But we only acknowledge Him on the surface, if at all.
We speak the truth, but we forget the admonishment to do so "in love," which is always quite different than merely speaking the truth. Quana, young as he was and even brimming with hatred, understood the enemy was to not see the truth - that the white man's ways would prevail. He somehow had the understanding that survival, and to thrive beyond it, was what mattered. He knew the white man would never listen to their words, if not spoken in peace, in love. And so he submitted himself to that which he abhorred, for the sake of harmony. He created such an impression that the very U.S. soldier who fought him and finally captured him became his strongest advocate to the U.S. government. Quana's people adjusted better than any other of the bands of native Americans at the end of the 1800's because he was willing to trade his missiles of destruction for tools of building up.
We have had 8 years of a President many consider an enemy of the American People, and now we have the opposite, who is viewed the same way by the others. We have forgotten what matters. survival, and thriving beyond that. We have forgotten the enemy is to be blind to the truth of this, and not each other. Can we lay down our arrows, our lances, our war clubs - our words of defiance against each other and simply be silent? Can we stop and decide, in wisdom, that the only words we will use will be sav to heal each other? Can we pick the words of building tools, and put things back together we have destroyed. Can we acknowledge the Great Spirit, The God and Creator of us all in our hearts, words, AND deeds? The answer to this question will decide the fate of the free world.
Be careful, when you are firing your words at someone, when you think you have won a battle, and you take a young mind captive, that you are not sewing the seeds of your own destruction.