Episode #2 of The Rogue Dialogues: Inner Healing for Leadership
Continued from Rogue, War
A black-clad youth stands thoughtfully in a room. An elegant, classically-garbed woman enters.
Athena: So what did you think of my brother?
Rogue: Ares? He… wasn’t at all what I expected.
A. I know, right? It’s like he starts off as Hulk smashing things, then turns into Bruce Banner listening to you.
R. Was he always like that?
A. Zeus, no. When he was younger, he really was just a savage little monkey, running around screaming and throwing poop.
A. Ah… let’s not go there. Anyway, early human tribes weren’t too different than animals. They had to hype themselves up into an angry mob in order to go on the warpath.
R. What happened?
A. Well, a lady hates to brag…
R. You happened? You turned warfare from mob violence into a scientific discipline?
A. Well… that’s probably overstating it a bit. Ares might view it differently.
R. Well, I want to hear how you view it.
A. Hmm. Let me think. You’re familiar with the Apollonian vs Dionysian?
R. Sure, Philosophy 101. Sterile efficient reason vs fertile chaotic madness.
A. Close enough. For early humans, whether facing a bully or a wild beast, it was rational to run away and madness to fight. And do you know what changed that?
A. Good answer! But wrong.
A. Technology came second. What came first?
R. Uh…. the chicken?
A. No! C’mon, you’ve got this.
R. No, I don’t. I have no idea what you’re talking about.
A. What were we just doing?
R. Um… talking.
R. Oh! Wait, is that the secret weapon that transformed warfare? Just talking?
A. “Just” talking, child? Do you have any idea how powerful “just” talking can be?
R. Who are you calling a child, missy? And yeah, seems to me like just talking never did nobody any good.
A. Ah! I… I am so sorry. I didn’t know.
Athena stumbles. Rogue, alarmed, runs to her side, and leads her to a bench.
R. Lady, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything. Are you okay?
A. It… it isn’t your fault, Rogue. It has been so long… I had forgotten… so much has changed.
R. Please, lady, you’re scaring me. Please, just tell me you’re okay.
A. Dear, sweet Rogue. I wish I could. But as you yourself know all too well, I cannot speak a lie.
R. Then… are you hurt? Are you… dying?
Athena pats the bench beside her. Rogue sits down and nestles under her arm. Athena stares off into the distance.
A. When the world was young, humans had very few words. But those they had, they treasured greatly. Moved by their love of words, I gave the men of Athens the gift of creating new ones. And those words gave them great power: to make war, yes, but also to make peace.
Athena reaches over and tousles Rogue’s hair.
A. But over the centuries, men have forgotten the true purpose and power of words. I can see you live in a world where words are the playthings of the rich and powerful, like slaves were in mine. And when man loses respect for his word, I fear Wisdom cannot long survive.
R. No! Lady, please no. Don’t die. We need you. I… I need you.
A. Then perhaps let that be your first lesson, Rogue. When faced with a terrifying foe, the rational move is to run away. But the wise move is to ask for help. All you need are the right words.
R. I… I think I understand.
A. I believe you do.
R. But… will one lesson be enough? And… are you going to… I mean, will I be able to…
A. [laughing] Fear not, child. As long as one person — one man, I dare say, though you have been reluctant to own it — as long as one soul seeks after Wisdom with her whole heart, I will not abandon this world. Whenever you need me, I can be found. Here. In the silence.
Continued in Diarogue 3/7: Acolyte, Wisdom