The mood in the garden was tense as many of the tulips were engaged in heated sidebar conversations. The general consensus was that they were slowly losing their portion of prominence in the garden and something had to be done before things got out of hand.
Standing to his full height, the Chairman addressed the crowd as he fluttered his leaves and in his baritone voice stated; “This meeting will now come to order.”
“We have assembled our attention today to address a prominent problem that we are all facing. Simply put, we are losing ground in the garden that we all love. The roses in their innate majesty along with the carnations are beginning to understand their prominence in the garden and in time it will become impossible to convince them that we are the superior flowers. Even the lowly daffodils have begun to meet with the iris contention to challenge our supremacy. Before long, even the carnations will begin to think that they also are significant.”
After a pause the Chairman continued:
“We stand now as the front line and the last line against this insurgence. We are charged with the responsibility of establishing our rightful and most holy prominence as our parents and even their parents before them have established for us. It is our very birthright to be adored above all others and for that reason we must now begin the process of intervening before it is too late. We may now begin our deliberations before the sun sets and yet another day eludes us.”
“The Chair recognizes the older gentleman in the back. I yield the floor at this time.”
Clearing his throat one of the older tulips whose leaves spoke of his years in the garden began to speak:
“Mr. Chairman, may I suggest the following intervention that has worked from my earliest of days to now. I have considered the matter and I am of the opinion that we have abandoned our heritage and we need to revisit the old paths that have worked for generations. Let’s separate the older flowers from the younger flowers and create dissension within them that will make them far easier to control.”
With concern beginning to show across the brow of the chairman: “With all due respect, I do appreciate your comments my dear brother but the times have changed and we must change with the times. Is there another suggestion?”
Another tulip who rarely spoke began to ruffle his leaves.
“The Chair recognizes the gentleman in the front.”
“Brother Chairman, have you considered the following; if we cannot divide the various floral families why not unite them; we can create an environment where they will gather in communities and through their separation they will never be able to combine meaningfully in any meaningful way other than socially. They carnations and the marigolds can share poetry, music and so on but beyond that they will never become a united force against us. We will be able to control the smaller factions by merely reinforcing their cultural uniqueness keeping them forever fractured and decimated.”
The Chairman seemingly not wanting to offend responded gently:
“I do appreciate that comment and since it comes from a worthy man, it demands a worthy answer. By separating them into communities it may actually have the exact effect that we do not want. I do fear the carnations, marigolds and so on establishing supportive networks, positive role models and so on within their communities. Although in the short run we gain a measure of control, I do fear that some day a leader may arise from that supportive network and we would have yet another challenge to face.”
With a sense of urgency, the Chair raised his leaves and asked “any fresh ideas?”
One of the younger tulips requested the floor and the chairmen responded with a smile “Yes, a fresh idea from one of our young leaders?”
“Brother Chairman, We must consider a more insidious approach which if adopted will enable us to maintain our dominion for generations to come. This is a battle that will be won or lost by our ability to force our adversaries to think differently about themselves.”
With that comment, every ear perked up and there was a silence that came over the deliberations.
The young thinker continued “Let’s get them to overlook their own beauty. Better yet, let’s get them to view their beauty through our eyes. We can then challenge them to see themselves as fundamentally flawed by our standards. They will become so focused on their self image that we can then get them to all overlook the resources within their communities by forcing them to function within ours. They then will come to us for not just for self affirmation but also for just about everything relating to their standard of living. We will then control even their standard of living by having them come to us not as equals but as a dependent population. If we are lucky, we can even have them begging from us for the very things that are well within their reach. Who knows, we may even be able to one day create a permanent underclass where this current insurrection will never again raise its horrid head”
With that there was an uproar in the garden; the applause was thunderous as all of the tulips rustled their leaves in the wind.
Obviously pleased, the Chairman raised his leaves and addressed the body:
“Wonderful; we need not waste time with formalities. Let’s get that young man to record those thoughts into a manifesto that we can begin to share with one another. In time we will share this manifesto with our children and they will do the same with their offspring. Let’s reestablish our prominence, our very birthright!”
Writing furiously, the young man penned the following:
The Tulip Manifesto
Remember that the tulip is the majestic standard of beauty. Always carry yourself with an air of superiority forcing every flower in the garden to overlook their beauty and begin the impossible task of striving to become more tulip like. Once they begin to weigh their beauty against our standard they will become by definition inferior.
Once they begin to see themselves as inferior, they will turn their attention to us for our acceptance which we will grant grudgingly to a few. By allowing a select few to acquire our acceptance we will actually be able to dispense hope on our terms which will for generations to come establish our control within the garden.
We then will be free to further any schemes that we desire for they will forever be our spectators rather than our competitors. We will keep and never yield this essential initiative. In time the other flowers will then spend so much time striving to become accepted into our culture that they will overlook the many opportunities in this garden that were placed here for them.
We will then be free to live each day awaiting the next blessing that will come to us in a garden where we are the only ones living with hope.
The Chairman was elated as he commented; “So elegant and so cunning. I like it! Can we have a motion to adopt this cunning manifesto?”
Seemingly before he could even finish his sentence there was roaring vote of assent as every leaf now rustled in the wind.
“I will accept that as a unanimous voice vote, The Manifesto is now Tulip Law. I now consider this meeting adjourned.”
As the sun began to set there was considerable joy in the tulip corner of the garden as their manifesto was shared from row to row.