The Great Thirst

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A simple metaphor presenting an interesting situation.

Ernest Hemingway said that his stories are like icebergs; Not much on the surface, but 7/8ths underneath.

Perhaps this one, at first will stay with you from day to day as you realize how deeply it truly runs in your day to day life.

Submitted: April 03, 2010

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Submitted: April 03, 2010

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The Great Thirst

Imagine that you were traveling around the world. And in your travels you came upon a peculiar kind of secluded town, far off from the rest of society. The people in this town live in such a way that isn't too different from the ways you’re used to people living, people eat, drink, make families, etc. It’s all the same except there is an odd tradition, which for some reason or another, the town has picked up along its way, and which everyone in the town follows. The dynamic of the town is this: The entire town is circular, centered about a well in the middle of the town. This well is the only water source the town has. Oddly enough though, when people are thirsty they don't simply go to the well and drink from it. Instead in order to drink from the well they have to go through an elaborate series of exhausting tasks first. Everyone in the town is so used to this process that no one even catches its existence, and when you question them about it, they look at you with a confused look as if you are the crazy one. To them this is the way it has to be. Furthermore, because they believe in these beliefs so strenuously most of them are incapable of even understanding simple answers to their dilemmas. For instance one problem which is of great concern to the people of this village is that many of them are always thirsty, so thirsty in fact, that some will die from it as they exhaust themselves in their daily lives. They hold onto their way of living as if it is the only way, as if they were holding onto a thousand foot high cliff. It is odd too, because every once in a long while, out of seemingly no-where one of them will awaken from this delusional state, notice that they can simply walk straight to well and drink as much water as they like. Upon these epiphanies, they attempt to describe this concept to others around them. But what usually happens is that those around them misunderstand their message, thinking that they must add more systems and more rituals to the drinking of water; blurring and distorting the original message, completely missing the point. They are blinded by the lessons taught to them as they only abstract the concepts further and make them something Not-Of-This-World. They are so lost in the delusion that they were raised with that they will not see what’s right there in front of them. Some of the rituals and systems which they create speak of an afterlife, far off in the future where water flows from every direction, where a man can drink whenever he is thirsty, and because of so, he is never thirsty. Many of the villagers believe in this belief so blindly that they go their entire lives living in exhaustion and thirst, rejecting any other ideas in fear of losing that Watery Afterlife. It occurs to you that the people suffer to get to this water, they go through a number of tasks which only further exhaust them, and in plain terms, it seems rather insane to you. You now notice that you have to teach these people that they don't have to go through all this unnecessary suffering to get to their water. The question is how do you go about teaching them of this? Their entire lives are interlaced with this system, their belief systems reinforce it, and every thought they have builds upon it. To tell them that they can simply go and drink from the well without any strenuous tasks is to question their belief systems, and in turn threaten their very lives. How do you teach the insane that they are insane noticing that they have been driven to this \"insanity\" by their culture, and it is not their nature. If you succeed they live much happier, healthier lives. As a result a huge number of the problems which they had previously been dumbfounded by will simply fall away. The problems which they thought were a price to pay for life will just disappear.\"The Great Thirst\" as they call it will disappear.


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