"Love is the inspiration to intentionally choose someone or something, with the unyielding determination to keep that choice;  in order to cultivate and care for that choice, and never to keep or use the choice you made for any other purpose other than this." - Joseph Osei-Bonsu
PicturePhotography by Joseph Osei-Bonsu







   Tomahawks, or better still, hatchets, were normally buried when two native American Indian tribes, who were warring against each other, had suffered very serious or numerous casualties as a result of there warfare against each other. The chiefs of the tribes opposed to each other would meet and bury their axes under an underground river; and the washing away or sinking of the axes symbolized the vanishing of any matters that had formerly been the bones of contention between the two tribes. It was a sign of peace. Sometimes, the axes were just buried under a tree or in a notable field. Always, and I repeat, always, the reason for which these native American Indian tribes did this was because they had suffered great losses, or they deemed the loss they were about to suffer as not worth each other's while. 

Hatchets were buried to avoid loss through war, and not to achieve any gain through peaceful productivity. 

This why more often than not, the erstwhile feuding tribes would in the future dig up the buried hatchets (if they axes were buried in the ground), and wage war against themselves again. They would 'dig up' or 'raise up' the hatchet: the opposite of burying the hatchet. Obviously, doing that means that now, they both consider the losses that will or can be conceded as worth their while, again. Whatever the case maybe, it always take another tragedy of loss, or the certainty of tragic losses for the two tribes to bury their hatchets, again. We are no different from the native American Indian tribes of the 16th, 17th, 18th 19th and early 20th century. It always takes a great tragedy or loss for us to realize that most of: what we're fighting over, who we are at loggerheads with, and the forgiveness we're refusing to ask or give, will eventually destroy us. Until the losses become unbearable for them, most people never bury the hatchet they have raised against other people or themselves.

   As I mentioned earlier, the native American Indians buried their hatchets in order to avoid loss through war, and not to achieve any gain through peaceful productivity. The same holds true for us. We are ever so quick to put all our differences aside with the people we have rejected or opposed, when we feel uncomfortable, insecure, uncertain of the future or threatened by their presence or power. We want peace so that we will: live and not die, be at peace and not suffer with guilt or sorrow, receive mercy instead of condemnation. We choose to bury the hatchet because our human survival instincts feel threatened by the great loss we have suffered, and then, it forces us to seek for penance, shelter, and relief wherever it can be found; even if those things are with our 'enemies'. Burying the hatchet does not give life, rather it prevents death. It does not bring change, instead, it only stalls crises. This is the reason why peace treaties, truces and cordial agreements between nations, companies and individuals never last longer than their own whims and caprices. 

It is a fallacy to believe or think that by signing a peace treaty or agreeing to a cease-fire, the differences of the two feuding parties have been or will be settled!   

Yes, burying the hatchet between the parties paves the way for better relations, and possibly, cooperative ventures between them - this is true. However, that is seldom the reason for burying a hatchet of any sort. This is because, again, most people primarily bury the hatchet to prevent loss, death, destruction, crisis, lack of comfort, apprehension and tension - period! If two warring states, families, companies, or individuals will truly bury the hatchet, it must be because of a motive and a reason that far outweighs any personal agenda, profit or interest. It must be because of love. At this juncture, I shall attempt to define 'love' as best as I possibly can:


Love is the inspiration to intentionally choose someone or something, with the unyielding determination to keep that choice; in order to cultivate and care for that choice, and never to keep or use the choice you made for any other purpose other than this.


   With this definition of love in mind, we begin to understand that love has very little to do with emotions and passions; but it has everything to do with purpose and motives. To successfully bury a hatchet, at least one of the feuding parties must decide that the reason why he is doing this is because he or she is intentionally choosing peace with the enemy, through an unyielding determination to keep this peace; in order to bring out the best from his 'enemy', cater for his 'enemy' and never to use the peace he now has with his 'enemy' for his own advantage, or any other ulterior motive other than this. This, is tough for most people, because it takes a lot of courage to do love an enemy or a betrayer. And the reason why it takes much courage to do this is because of the fear of rejection. The fear of being hurt again, by making an already broken heart vulnerable to the one (or similar one) who broke it in the first place is what breeds distrust and lack of forgiveness in the broken-hearted. And so it should! For example; will you ever in your right mind trust your daughter with your friend who slept with your spouse? Let's say that after throwing your spouse out of the house and severing all ties with your friend, the tragedy of losing you causes your wife and your friend to seek the burying of this adulterous hatchet. They come to you for a second chance to make things right; you decide not to give them a second chance, because of your present hurt and your fear of being hurt again. Once bitten... However, if you intentionally choose to make and keep peace with your spouse or your friend or both, in order to help them recover from the setback of the relationship - to help them change - then you are burying the hatchet for the right reason: love. Should your wife and friend ever reject your act of love again, it would be on their consciences, not yours. Contrary to your fears, you would rather be TRULY free and vindicated of any hurt, pain, guilt and heartbreak that their actions might have brought. Love buries all things...especially, hatchets.

 
 
"I thought about the days i had handed over to a bottle..the nights i can't remember..the mornings i slept thru..all the time spent running from myself.”
Mitch Albom, For One More Day
SketchCourtesy of Prince Boakye-Yiadom

















I called her upon receiving the tragic news. It turns out I didn't even need to call at all: Fosua was fine and dandy. How could a teenage girl who had just lost her brother, her father and her home in one night, be so sober and so calm? Yes, both men died from different causes; however, the conundrum lied in the timings of their deaths - both at the eleventh hour. Fosua's father was a heavy drinker who had lost his driver's licence due to the numerous, drunk-driving violations he had accumulated over the past 7 years. No, he was not abusive of any sorts: he was just plain annoying. Fosua and her now-deceased brother, Mikki, along with their mother, took turns to clean the vomit of their father's inebriating, on a weekly basis. Mikki had to become the supporting driver of the family at the age of 17. And like every 17-year old, his father's car became his medium for mischief. This attitude of abusing his privileges to his father's car turned Mikki's relationship with his parents very sour. On the night of their deaths, Mikki and his once again intoxicated father engaged in a verbal and physical fight which triggered a heart attack in the latter. Fosua and her mother rushed the dying man to the hospital after Mikki had driven away in heated anger. At 11 o'clock on the dot, in the hospital, Fosua watched her mother cry inconsolably as the paramedics broke the news of her father's time of death. She watched again, as her mother fainted from shock when she received a phone call from the police that their house had been completely burnt to the ground - with Mikki asleep in it. Apparently, his notorious speeding caused the heated tyres of his father's car to catch fire from some pieces of foam lying aimlessly in the garage. I asked Fosua why she seemed so calm; her response was, "Who are you?". Fosua had immediately contracted dissociative amnesia owing to the trauma of the recent events. And suddenly, I knew that my words of comfort and condolences were fallen on deaf ears. I was speaking to someone who had forgotten to remember who she was.

So, what's the moral of the story?


    As a human, you're naturally born with dissociative amnesia in your soul. You are born into the world to forget. To forget who you are, where you came from, why you are where you are, what you can, must and shouldn't do and where you are going. Unfortunately, the world does nothing to help alleviate this condition that is stealthily stealing your life; but rather, it aggravates your dire situation. The world proposes all manner of 'advancement' and 'progress' as the solutions to your soulic-al plight. The world says, "You'll find healing in the future we give you." But the truth is that, the only way to heal dissociative amnesia is to trigger the lost memories of the patient by repeatedly exposing him or her to the truth about their past. There is no alternative to this. As a result, it is imperative for all humanity to seek absolute Truth. For it is in it that we remember the true source of our pains and problems: it is in remembering the absolute, that we find healing for the amnesia of the soul.