In this story we find a young man, an ordinary 20-something, one whose station in life has yet to be decided. He is not bright but certainly above average, and full of the passion and energy of youth. His time mostly spent in an altered state of mind communing and enjoying the energy and ideas of the peers closest to him. Ultimately, however, he was of no service to anyone outside this chosen community of similar leeches. His mind was full of how things ought to be, solutions to the problems of society, his misdirected energy has yet to converge with these ideas, and therefore were caged in his mind, of no use to society as a whole.
He’d attended school, as per the norm; grade school, middle school, high school, and for a short while he dipped his feet into the less structured and, to him, more attractive world of college. Presently, however, he was stagnant, having lost interest in school after 13 arduous years; 12 mandatory, 1 chosen and regrettable. Lost, actually, may be the wrong descriptor for how could he lose something he never possessed. During this time he’d been advised by those wiser than he to appreciate this opportunity to gain knowledge without having to give in return, but how could he appreciate what was seemingly structured to take for granted? He was kindly forced to sit and stay and receive proper knowledge without regard to understanding and application. Some could argue he was a fated leech, for it was the norm to him to receive without return.
David and his closest friend conversed, inhaling thick smoke and altering the filter through which they saw the world, expositing theory after theory searching for nothing but learning and discovering many things previously unknown. He greatly enjoyed these talks and through them he gained understanding, for when they talked it wasn’t of the daily lives of their peers or checkstand-rag gossip it was of causes and effects, of the “why” and “how” of human action.
It was during one of these talks that david discovered an eyelash resting on his hand. It was thick and black, only about a centimeter long, he, being in a state which allowed for prolonged focus on normally unimportant objects, stared at it for a long minute. He noticed a the thick end was pure white, in stark contrast to the rest of its pitch color, he perceived the almost sharpened looking tip at the other end. “Taylor,” he addressed his friend excitedly, “look, I have one wish, I wonder what it should be?”
Taylor suggested, “you should wish for millions of dollars-”
“what would I do with it?”
“I don’t know, maybe buy a house, a nicer car, live comfortably?”
“yes, thats very true, but I live comfortably now; I have an apartment, I have a car, I eat well, I need nothing.”
“That’s true, but this all comes from your parents, and the meager amount they decided to give you, imagine you, driving your ferrari home to your huge house in newport coast,” Taylor argued.
“you’re right that would be absolutely fantastic, the life of a millionaire, but how much should I wish for? What would be enough so I never run out, after having this life I don’t suppose i’d like to stop,” David agreed, finally after much thought, “I was also thinking, what about the people who can’t even eat? I mean I lead a comfortable life-“
“well, I think you’d be comfortable in any situation, you’re you”
“sure, well, no I don’t think I’d like starving to the point of death, which, you know, millions of people do everyday, I could wish that every one lived comfortably and no one was in need,” He said, as he blew the eyelash out the window of his car, sending his altruistic sentiment to all the less fortunate in the world like a letter wishing you well from a relative who’s never taken the time to learn to spell your name.
David, content in his deed, continued his comfortable life, sleeping on a large plush mattress, lounging in a comfortable chair surfing the web and watching television. He’d read articles and keep current on the plight of those less fortunate, explain to others that something needed to be done. He’d tell anyone who’d listen believing whole-heartedly in the changes he was making, but day after day, month after month, he continued to read and hear of new plights and new groups of less fortunates. This was disheartening. After a long and rigorous summer, winter, fall and another summer of late nights out with friends and many speeches on how everyone’s lives could be better if they would just listen to him, his parents grew tired of supporting him.
“You have been living well this past year, but what have you to show from your leisure? You talk of helping others and that’s great, I’ve raised you well, but what have you done to make their lives better? You’re bright and have the capacity and the vision to really make this world a better place but you just go out with your friends and do God knows what every night,” his father explained.
Indignant, david replied, “Well, when I’m with my friends we talk and discover new ways to make these people’s lives better-“
“That very well may be,” his father replied calmly, remembering this very same conversation with his own dear dad, “but how have these conversations affected the world? What can you say you’ve done that has bettered the life of anyone? Telling people how much worse other’s lives are just depresses them, you’re not helping anyone, all you do is blow hot air-“
“But, if the world was a hot air balloon I’d be doing wonders,” david butted in sarcastically, realizing that yes telling people things they don’t want to hear does in fact depress them, “I see what you’re saying dad, but what am I to do?”
“You could go to school and learn I don’t have all the answers, but they might have some.”
This short piece of advice blew david’s mind wide open, had that been what school was for this whole time? To put in effort and attain a desired result?
“Dad, your advice has given me beautiful new insight, I finally see what i have to do!”
So when the time to register for school came around at the end of that summer he talked to counselors who showed him the proper classes to take, which he did, he attended every class and put all the effort he’d previously used so unwisely into his assignments. As his knowledge grew he discovered a brand new world of opportunities to better people’s lives. He continued in this fashion, ravenous and driven, all the way to the white house, where he rivaled the great FDR in his policy.
Reflecting, after his tenure as leader of the free world he looked down at his hand and noticed a small thick follicle, pitch-black, pointed at one end and white on the other, he smiled and shook his hand so that it floated away without a thought.