Once upon a dormant volcanic hill, there lived a rock whose name was Iggy Neous. He knew who he was amidst all the rocks on the hill. He knew he was created by Fire. He knew this as his life. And it was good.
One day, as he was rock-boarding down the slope, he came upon an odd looking creature. It seemed similar to him, but very different; and, in his thinking, ultimately inferior. Still, he was a very friendly type of spirit, and so, he greeted this stranger in his native tongue. The stranger answered, although it was obvious that this language was uncomfortable and not often used.
“Hi! My name is Iggy. I’m a rock-boarder. A radical rock-boarder. Who are you?”, he asked.
“ Why, my name is Seddy. Seddy M. Tary. You surely are a most radical rock-boarder. Not my style, though.”
Iggy could tell right away from the gristly way the stranger spoke that he surely was no smooth talker like the rest of his people. Being not too wise in the way of the World, and a bit impulsive, he said: “You’re not made of Fire, are you?”
The stranger looked at Iggy pensively. “No; no, I’m not. Why should I be? Is that something pretty important to you?”
“Well, yeah. I mean how else are you going to get anywhere on this mountain unless you are? We just pulverize the unFire ones, you know.”
Seddy thought about that for a while. He was somewhat unsure about revealing his Water ancestry...unsure how this one would react. “Why can’t I be a part of your community here on this mountain?”
Now, Iggy could tell that this answer needed to be thought upon. He was at least aware that the FireSpirit expected some kind of understanding of Others who weren’t of his kind. So he said, “Well, you can stay here, but I can’t guarantee that you won’t get hurt; and, of course, you can’t live at the top of the mountain. Still, if you want to, well, I guess you can, but it’s not my fault if you get sanded, ok?”
A few months went by before Iggy saw the stranger again. He looked pretty scratched up and sanded down, but not too bad, considering. Because he had been in meditation with the FireSpirit, he knew it was important to extend a warm welcome and a sense of empathy.
“How’s it going, Seddy, is it?”
“Why should you care?” Seddy fairly radiated fire, even when everyone knew his kind didn’t have any.
Iggy was kind of taken aback. He didn’t understand why Seddy was so upset. He had told him life would be difficult. His kind were just of inferior composition, and that’s just the way of Life. What Iggy didn’t realize was how much his own perception was skewed by his own homogenous upbringing. He left the stranger struggling on the rock-boarding path, and decided it was time to seek the FireSpirit’s sacred place to get some understanding of this strange phenomenon.
Again, a few months went by. This time, as Iggy was out rock-boarding free-style, he barely managed to avoid a catastrophic collision with the stranger.
“Hey! What’s up with you? Want to get pulverized?”
“I don’t care. It doesn’t matter anymore. Just pulverize me. It’s better than living like this, under the guise of trying to be like you just to make it through the day.”
Iggy surely didn’t understand that kind of thinking, but he had learned enough at least to empathize, as much as his tiny rock heart could.
“I’m sorry. I know I don’t understand how you feel. I know that the FireSpirit says that all rocks are to be valued and respected just for themselves. I know that you are a rock, even if you’re different from me. So I’m going to let you be my friend if you want, and, anyways, I’ve got this extra rock-board...Want to go rock-boarding?”
The stranger looked deep at Iggy, as if he were staring into some distant place that he didn’t recognize. However, having gotten himself to an enlightened level through much diligent effort, he could see that Iggy did mean what he said, and was willing to learn. Most importantly, he could tell that Iggy, also, was taking a very big risk. So he said, “Sure!”
He decided to keep the secret of carbon-based lifeforms to himself. Iggy was obviously just beginning to be aware that he wasn’t the only worthwhile creation out in the World. Besides, rock-boarding was fun. So why not?