It’s impossible to learn that which one thinks they already know. – Epictetus (AD 55 – AD 135).
“Myth is a story, like parable, that speaks of Eternal Truth.” writes John Eldredge in his book WAKE THE DEAD.” I met Dr Eldredge over 20 years. He changed the way I see God’s love for us. Being a Palauan I was attracted to the subject of the heart. In our culture, specifically our language, the HEART is the core of our being.
Everything is of the heart, in the heart, and from the heart. Examples: Good heart (ungil a rengul) dense heart (ng telchemakl a rengul), greedy heart (bechelechelingaol a rengul or ngemokle a rengul; short heart (impatient), big heart (patient), bright heart (mellomes a rengul) dark heart (milkolk a rengul) and skilkful heart, intelligent heart, tekangel [a rengul] (persistence/perseverance), and etc.
What happened to the heart of Palau? Ngmla mor a Engal a Beluu?
I’ve always thought of the story of UAB (ooo-wob) as the story of our greed. The story of Palau. Uab was an ordinary little boy who gobbled everything in sight and became too big for his own good. He grew to be the Greedy giant. He became a danger to the whole village. The villagers built a huge jail house to fence him in. Then the whole village brought him food everyday by climbing up the ladder to reach his mouth. He terrorized the villagers, demanding homage, crying for food. They fed him until they were scraping just to feed their children. The villagers couldn’t take it anymore. One day they decided to kill him. So while he was stuffing his face they built a fire around him. The giant stood screaming in pain and broke the walls of his prison and fell northwest. His main body became BABELDAOB, the toes and feet made IOULDAOB and the beautiful rock islands. The west of Babeldaob is his belly. The east is his back. What was whole broke into many pieces because of one person’s greed. Uab wanted it all and destroyed himself.
The story of Uab teaches us many good moral lessons of life. My grandfather said to me, ngdiak el tekoi ra kall, ngtekoi ra reng. It’s not about food, but the heart. It’s about hunger and thirst of the soul. People who are never satisfied with what they have will fight for more. It’s a human disease: Greed and Narcissism. They want to dominate, control, manipulate to make themselves grandiose– an illusion of the delusional. The cancer of the heart — the truth of “Me, myself and I” rings true in all of us. We’re all insane to some extent. We all need God to remind us that there is Someone bigger abd more powerful than ourselves.
The story doesn’t end there with Uab. Hereafter came the flood. Ar TekiiMelab (the angels of heaven) came to spy the land because the gods heard the cries of the people about the rampaging greed and rumors of wars among the people. Oh, the greedy gene of Uab is once again on the rise. From there Milad el Dil was born.
I find the wisdom of these stories frighteningly true in so many ways in my time. Are we ready for change? Renewal through chaos. Greed for money, land, and power is, I’d say, in an all time high. The youth suicide is higher than before. It seems there’s always a party of some kind where money is displayed deceiving us that we’re doing fine when our nation is up to her nose in debt. Even funerals are no longer about the bereaved but money. There are mothers scraping just to feed their children while the feed Uab, the greedy culture.
Are we being warned by the TekiiMelab that the door is about to burst open with another flood?
One thing for sure is– very few sees the writing on the wall. They’re too busy looking at themselves, measuring the square footage of their land, checking their bank account, demanding homage for their prestigious seat of honor and fame. The problem is the concept of being “cool by association” is also on the rise. We only want to connect with the rich and famous.
Jesus was tempted by Satan on these three things we see in our land: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. He knows what we are going through. In his response to these temptations, his response was “It is written…” we need to go back to our first love and read the Word about the one who loved us first.