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Aug 27, 2012
Article #139
Author: John Maxwell


John Maxwell is a great writer and in his writings he tells some funny is one of them...

From "Everyone Communicates Few Connect"


Great communicators are not all cut from the same cloth. But they all share the ability to connect. That does not develop by accident. You cannot expect to succeed through dumb luck, as did the leader of a wagon train of pioneers that was heading across the Western Plains. When a lookout spotted a cloud of dust in the distance moving toward them, they knew they were in trouble...when the leader of the settlers saw the tall figure of a chief silhouette against the sky, he decided to face the chief and attempt to communicate with him using sign language. Soon the chief backed away and returned to his men. 


"What happened?" the pioneers asked the leader.


"Well, as you probably saw, we couldn't speak each other's language." he said. "So we used sign language. I drew a circle in the dirt with my finger to show that we're all on in this land. He looked at the circle and drew a line through it.  He meant, of course, that there are two nations - ours and his. But I pointed my finger to the sky to indicate we are all one under God. Then he reached into his pouch and took out an onion, which he gave to me. Naturally I understood that it indicated the multiple levels of understanding available to everyone. To show him I understood his meaning, I hate the onion. Then I reached into my coat and offered him an egg to show our goodwill, but as he was to proud to accept my gift, he just turned and walked away."


Meanwhile the warriors were readying for the attack and awaited the order from their chief, but the old warrior held up his hand and recounted his experience. 


"When we came face-to-face," he said " we immediately knew we did not speak the same tongue. That man then drew a circle in the dirt. I know he meant we were surrounded. I drew a line through his circle to show him that we could cut him in half. Then he raised his finger to the sky meaning he could take us on all by himself. Then I gave him an onion to tell him he would soon taste the bitter tears of defeat and death. But he ate the onion in defiance. Then he showed me an egg to tell me how fragile our position is. There must be others close by. Let's get out of here."


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