It was already late fall and the Indians on a remote reservation in South Dakota asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.
Since he was a chief in a modern society he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky he couldn’t tell what the winter was going to be like. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.
But being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the national weather service and asked, “Is the coming winter going to be cold?”
“It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,” the meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.
A week later he called the national weather service again. “Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?”
“Yes,” the man at national weather service again replied, “It’s going to be a very cold winter.”
The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.
Two weeks later the chief called the national weather service again. “Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?”
“Absolutely,” the man replied. “It’s looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we’ve ever seen.”
“How can you be so sure?” the chief asked.
The weatherman replied, “The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy.”
This humorous story reminded me of recent discussions I’ve participated in regarding Anusara methodology, and the necessity of knowing your source and its validity. I have heard more than a few people reference a book by Doug Keller, Hatha Yoga in the Anusara Style. From what I understand, Doug Keller is an accomplished yoga practitioner and teacher who studied with John Friend. In writing this book, he took much from the teachings of the anusara methodology and brought in other ideas and concepts. I gather that the Keller book is well-written and has much to offer, but as a SOURCE for Anusara methodology — and particularly teaching “in the Anusara style” — it is inaccurate in some key places. (Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.)
Fast forward to a conversation earlier this week that I had with some other yoga teachers. The question was posed, “Why can’t you just take & use what works as Keller did?” And my response is, “You can; you just can’t call it one thing if it’s another!” A zebra and a horse both have four legs and run, but you can’t paint stripes on a horse and call it a zebra. (Well, you COULD, but it’s still a horse.)
If we are leading other people — instructing them in the work of gathering firewood — we need to make sure that our sources for information are accurate. We need to be responsible chiefs.
Until our next tribal gathering,
(Personal Aside: CT, I think with a little work you could figure out a way to incorporate this into one of your FIRE themes! If you can do it with forestry management, I have great hope for my South Dakoka Indian tribe story!)