INTERNATIONAL CHILD AND YOUTH CARE NETWORK

30 MARCH 2000
_________________________________


Anne Hope's (1978) story is often used as 
a helpful
illustration on diversity ...

The Story of the Rainbow


Once upon a time, all the colours in the world started to quarrel; each claimed that she was the best, the most important, the most useful, the favourite...

Green said: “Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, leaves — without me all the animals would die. Look out over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority.”

Blue interrupted: “You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is water that is the basis of life and this is drawn up by the clouds from the blue sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace you would all be nothing but busybodies.”

Yellow chuckled: “You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun.”

Orange started next to blow her own trumpet: “I am the colour of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the inner needs of human life. I carry all the most important vitamins. Think of carrots and pumpkins, oranges, mangoes and pawpaws. I don’t hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.”

Red could stand it no longer. He shouted out: “I’m the ruler of you all, blood, life’s blood. I am the colour of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight of a cause. I bring fire in the blood. without me the earth would be empty as the moon. I am the colour of passion and love; the red rose, poinsettia and poppy.”

Purple rose up to his full height. He was very tall and he spoke with great pomp: “I am the colour of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs and bishops have always chosen me for I am a sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me — they listen and obey.”

Indigo spoke much more quietly than all the others, but just as determinedly: “Think of me, you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep waters. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace.”

*    *    *

And so the colours went on boasting, each convinced that they were the best. Their quarrelling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of brilliant white lightning; thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colours all crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.

Then Rain spoke: 

“You foolish colours, fighting among yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Do you not know that God made you all? Each for a special purpose, unique and different. He loves you all. He wants you all. Join hands with one another and come with me. He will stretch you across the sky in a great bow of colour, as a reminder that he loves you all, that you can live together in peace

— a promise that he is with you,
— a sign of hope for tomorrow.”

And so whenever God has used a good rain to wash the world, He puts the rainbow in the sky, and when we see it, let us remember to appreciate one another.

— based on an Indian legend

__________