Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Golden Rule Taught Upon Kamegeri's Rock

Mwami (“King”) Mibambwe Sekarongoro Gisanura ruled Rwanda almost 400 years ago. He was a fair and just ruler, who demonstrated concern for the poor and needy within his kingdom.

Legend has it that a man was convicted of stealing from the Mwami, who then directed two of his chiefs to devise a suitable punishment for the convicted thief. They saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate to the Mwami that they were tough and innovative, and worthy of special position and honor within the royal court. A chief named Mikoranya proposed torture upon a  wooden shaft protruding from a hut. A chief named Kamegeri proposed that a large flat rock be heated until red-hot and the criminal be spread-eagled upon it.

The Mwami asked the chiefs to demonstrate their ideas, so that he could better understand what they proposed. They eagerly went to work. After continuous bonfires for one week, the large flat rock finally became literally red-hot. The Mwami arrived with his entourage. Nearby, the protruding wooden shaft was also ready. “Is everything ready?” the Mwami inquired of the two chiefs. They nodded with great pride, expecting praise and some yet-to-be determined reward.

The Mwami then called forward his royal guards to whom he had already explained his intentions: “Seize them, and subject them to their own punishments! Kamegeri shall roast upon his rock, and Mikoranya shall suffer his own torture. They are too cruel. There is no place in my kingdom for men capable of such cruelty.”

                                                                 Kamegeri's Rock

Let us demonstrate compassion in what we will allow others to suffer.