By the time I figured out what that phrase meant, it had already passed its shelf life. An idealist at heart with bucket loads of naïveté, I expected to go out into the world and save it from itself. Initially, I misinterpreted the phrase to mean “love the outcome of what you do” and I give credence to the fact that for most people who do what they do for the money, this is exactly right.
For a mind bordering on solipsism, money and fame become repulsive but also an undeniable part of reality. As disillusionment takes its toll, one wonders where the fallacy ends and it never seems to. For a world that can’t be saved by an individual, what is an individual to do? Be an unwavering individual.
With billions of minds on this planet, each seemingly in competition for a few “good” jobs here and there (thanks globalization). What do I have to offer that I know would be a win-win situation for an organisation and I? My mind went over my hobbies and interests (I did try to find a job that would allow me to sleep in the early hours of the morning and wake up late evening but I didn’t really want to be a DJ). It seemed clear and obvious after that. I would have to become a writer.
Shortening a long story, I found myself in an interview for a writing internship in an organisation that seems to be doing exactly the kind of work I myself would like to do. What were the odds? This is where the happily ever after is supposed to come in, the screen fades to black and we walk out of the cinema. But there I was, with the internship that I wanted. What now? I spent a week trying to calculate all the consequences of all my possible decisions and fussed about my deliverables. I focused on everything my mind could lay its tentacles on and because of this, I missed the details. I froze, petrified in light of getting what I wanted. The thaw might be slow but I know it will be steady.
Writing will be my first consciously developed addiction.
And so, my first fable…
The Top of the food chain
Sometimes, when the moon is full and the stars are twinkling, all the different animals in the ocean are allowed to talk to each other. They sing and they dance, sharing stories of the different reefs and gyres.
One night, however, while the animals were socialising, a great net appeared from the surface of the ocean and scooped up all the little tuna, some turtles, dolphins and other sea creatures before closing up and rising back to the surface slowly. The animals screamed and cried. They tried everything to get out of the net but none of them had teeth sharp enough to cut through the net.
Meanderingly, Shark swam up to see what all the commotion was about. The animals begged Shark to bite the net for them but he laughed as he swam away.
“I’m at the top of the food chain” Shark thought to himself. “Why would I waste my time helping the animals?”
Many moons later, after all the animals had observed and timed the appearance of the net that had taken their friends and family, they began to gather again and share their stories at a safe depth. One night, they saw Shark swimming close to where the net was scheduled to appear and they tried to warn him. Shark prided himself as being the most fearsome fish in the ocean so he ignored them and promptly got scooped up by the great net.
Unfortunately, because Shark was the only one caught, the net was so light that it rose back to the surface before any of the other fish could help him. In that moment, Shark knew that despite his sharp teeth and his ability to scare other animals, he was not at the top of the food chain.