Monday, July 7, 2008

Live Not in Fear.

Once, long ago, a wise man and a foolish man lived next to each other in houses they had built themselves.  They both had many fears: of nature, of illness, of each other.  The wise man feared all these things, yet he took no measures to protect himself.  He feared lightning, yet would venture out into the darkest and most cataclysmic of electrical storms, laughing in the face of possible death.  He feared sexually transmitted disease, yet he made love to many women, and made many babies, saying boldly: "Live not in fear!  Seize the day!"  He feared his fellow man, yet threw open his doors at night, calling out "I fear you not, what bandits and highwaymen abound!  "  

The foolish man saw the wise man do all these things, and while he longed to throw caution to the wind, to fear not life and live richly in a dangerous world, he simply could not.  He feared lightning, and while the wise man was out dancing in the rain with his many wives and babies under his great copper umbrella, the foolish man stayed inside by the fire.  He feared sexually transmitted disease, and while the wise man was out at the bars, drinking and carousing, the foolish man stayed home with his wife and practiced safe sex, planing his family and siring only one child, when he and his wife were ready.  He feared his fellow man, but while the wise man slept soundly in an empty home, the foolish man locked all his doors and windows, seeking comfort in the arms of his wife.

And so it was that after many years, the wise man and the foolish man had both reached the end of their days.  The wise man said to the foolish man: "I lived not in fear, I seized the day!  My life was rich, exciting, and full of adventure!  What of your life, you foolish man?  What adventures did you embark on, what excitement saw YOU in all your days?"  The foolish man, being a fool, could not respond.  To his exceedingly foolish mind, it was HE who had the better life.  He thought: "Perhaps I had no adventures, but at least my wife and child did not die in a freak lightning accident.  And at least I am old, but still healthy, and not ridden with filth and disease.  And at least I still have a home to live in, and food to eat, it having not been stolen from my unlocked house."  The wise man and the foolish man died, and the foolish man's child went on to live a foolish life, as his father did, having only one wife, and one child, and dying a comfortable, boring old man.

1 comment:

Louis said...

I love it. To each his/her own. And if you're happy, more power to you.