Long ago, before colonization, our ancestors lived on a great and massive ship that sailed through space for hundreds of years. This ship was called the Ark and the people upon it were divided into five districts.
The first district was made up of scientists and engineers. These people took care of the ship and made sure it ran safely and smoothly.
The second district housed the healers, who took care of the sick and needy.
In the third district lived the farmers. The farmers grew crops in the ship’s fields and raised livestock so that the residents of the Ark would have food to give their families.
Artisans were in the fourth district, making furniture for homes, toys for the children and other general goods.
The final district was perhaps the most important of all. The fifth district was for the teachers who looked after the children of the ship and ensured that the future of the Ark was a bright one full of potential.
For many many years, the five districts lived in harmony. They shared their resources amongst one another and all enjoyed the benefits of working together to keep society on the Ark strong and healthy.
One day, however, the leaders of each district got into an argument. The leader of the first district believed that the farmers were keeping more food for themselves. The leader of the artisans thought that the engineers were swindling materials from their shops. And the leader of the healers had suspicions that the teachers had been treating children for sickness in their own district which was not allowed.
Each leader claimed their own district’s superiority and that the others were needless. This fight went on for some time until, frustrated with one another, the leaders of the districts returned to their homes and refused to work with one another again.
Unfortunately, with the leaders angry at one another, the districts stopped sharing their products. The engineers began to only conduct maintenance on their section of the ship. The healers only healed their own. The farmers kept all the food, plentiful as it was, for themselves. The artisans closed down their shops and the teachers shut down their schools.
This continued for days then weeks then months. The people were starving, sick and troubled. The leaders still refused to reconcile even though their people were suffering. Then one day in the midst of the ship’s winter when conditions were getting particularly bad, a man named Callidus decided it was time to do something.
Callidus knew that if he could just get the leaders to remember why they need each other, the districts could start working together again and the time of suffering would end. Unfortunately, they were stubborn and would not meet. But Callidus was known for being clever and he thought up a way to trick them into speaking.
Each leader was delivered a handwritten card inviting them to a feast celebrating their district. Happy to pay tribute to their own, all of the guests accepted and soon they found themselves heading, unbeknownst to them, to the same dinner table. When they arrived and saw the other leaders, they were furious. They started arguing again, accusing the others of causing their own district pain. The fight grew louder and louder and could be heard from all over the ship. The people listened and were worried that this meant things would never get better.
But Callidus had a plan.
In the middle of their fight, he spoke up. “Honored guests!” he said, dismayed. “I have gone through so much trouble to arrange this feast for you and this is how you repay me? With shouting and yelling? It is unbecoming of such fine people as yourselves. I was of the belief that you were respectable and noble individuals, but perhaps I was incorrect. Perhaps you are not worthy of celebration after all.”
At this, the fighting settled down. Each now determined to prove their worth and better one another, the leaders took their seats at the table quietly. Pleased, Callidus extended his hands and bid them to “Eat, drink and enjoy.”
All at the table feasted and though they did so in silence and stubbornness, they could not help but enjoy such a fine meal. The food was delicious, the chairs comfortable, the room pleasant and the serving staff attentive. It was the finest feast they had ever had and when it was over, they all agreed as such. It was the first thing they had agreed on in months and Callidus spoke up again.
“I’m glad to hear that the feast was such a success,” he told them. “I’d like to thank you all for coming to share it with me and for getting along so splendidly.”
Immediately, the leaders remembered their feud. Glaring at one another with dislike, they stood up to leave, but their host stopped them.
“But before you go,” he said, holding up his hand in pause. “I have some thanks to give. I must thank the farmers for the wonderful food they prepared. And I must thank the artisans for this fine table and chairs they have crafted specifically for the occasion. I thank the engineers for their work in making sure the setting was perfectly comfortable for all. And of course I must thank the healers for, without them, our incredible serving staff would still be lying in the hospital, laid low by sickness. I would also like to thank the teachers as they have graciously pooled their efforts into providing these parting gifts for you all.”
As he spoke the words, the wait staff returned and placed stacks of letters in front of each of the guests. These letters were written by the children of the Ark and they told stories of the suffering they and their families had been through as of late. They told of sickness and hunger. They told of homes falling apart and the ship malfunctioning. They told of their troubles and begged the recipients to work together to amend what had gone wrong. The leaders read these letters and tears formed in their eyes.
“Finally,” Callidus went on at last. “Finally I wish to thank all of you. I thank you for without the great and strong people of all of your districts, this feast would not have been possible. It just proves what kind of wonderful things we can create when we work together and how resilient this great ship can be. So thank you. All of you.”
With that, Callidus left, but the leaders remained at the table, stunned by his words. They did need to work together, they realized. Together, the Ark was strong and segregated, it was weak. They came to understand that they needed to reconcile their differences and join together once more to heal the ship, their home.
It was decided that day that the districts would once more open their doors to one another and resources would flow freely throughout. Soon, everything was back to normal and the Ark recovered and returned to its former glory.
To ensure that the districts never fought in such a way again, it was decreed that every year, on that very same date, there would be a feast for all people of all districts to overcome their differences and come together as one. This day was called Concordia and it celebrated unity and harmony amongst the good people of the Ark.
The tradition carried on long after the colonization and the Ark was destroyed. To this day, all peoples of the span lay down their arms for Concordia and remember that we, as humanity, must live as one. On Concordia, we look back on our history and we remember that it took the efforts of every one of us to build this beautiful world and it will take the efforts of every one of us to keep it standing strong.