February 4, 2011

☫ A tale on speculators

Flashbacks  The priceless
A tale on speculators

The Idea

He was one of ours. An elegantly dressed speculator from one large metropolis came up with a fine idea: "Everything has a price, thus everything can be bought," he thought to himself, completely absorbed in self indulgence.

Echoes of his own brightness bounced back from walls sheltering nothing but cerebral tissues, making his already numb senses even dimmer. And he enjoyed it. The pleasure got to the point that he arranged a meeting to be attended by the trendiest speculators. And he did this even though his agenda was pretty full. That generous was the man with his own genius.

The meeting was an undeniable success. The atmosphere had that precise degree of thickness at which secrets don't leave rooms and lies become pale enough to sound like timid truths. The speculators all congratulated each other for the precious finding on how to turn their 'jobs' into even simpler and more profitable tasks.

One of them allowed himself to walk towards the large scenic windows of the hall. From there he cast a gaze at the gray city below their feet, contemplating its mutation at every new speech that was pronounced.

Once it all concluded, they rushed with their resolutions to television stations, educational institutions, news agencies, academic communities and publishers. As far as it was profitable to do so, of course. If that was not enough, they could always count on simply doing nothing.

It just took some years, some wars and some rivers of blood, for people to finally accept it. But it was done. The speculators were not only interested in this concept to be long-lived; they were also willing to sit in trial whoever would be daring enough to raise complaints.

The Test

At a given day, of those in which the dropping of curtains glitches, such a person showed up. She claimed her ideals were priceless, and that everyone could find something in their lives that could live beyond any given limit. She was instantly taken to trial.

Finding herself surrounded by nervous and elegantly dressed-up men, some of them smoking as if the world was coming to its end, she slid her existence through the eye of the needle leading to the judging camara. The plaintiffs and their lawyers arrived through the back door.

"It's simply outrageous," some of them thought through their pores. Meanwhile the woman waited patiently for her trial to begin, even when she knew that the rulings were inescapable, and nothing but unjust rulings could come out from the hall.

All of a sudden, the first speculator came forward with the defendant's best friend. They walked alongside an old man and a convicted felon. The speculator tied the three of them facing an array of pipes that the speculators quickly unveiled. The devices all consisted on a shotgun placed at the end of ridiculously intricate tubes, through which bullets were to be carefully accelerated. They could thus pull the triggers and have their victims, at the other end, dying a good number of hours later. This certainly removed much of the guilt from their minds.

The session began. "Do you give up your ideals for the life of this criminal? He has murdered people, but you would still call him a human being. Your ideals for his life?"

Sadness poured from the woman's eyes, but then smiled at the criminal and said: "No, I wont give up on them."

The first speculator then pulled the first trigger. A second speculator continued: "Do you give up your beliefs for the life of this old man? You know him not, but feel you no pitty for this man whom you would still call a human being? Your beliefs for his life?"

With her heart once more drowned in anguish, the judged woman smiled at the old man and replied: "No, I can't sell you what I hold."

The second speculator pulled then the second trigger. A third speculator cried out filled with rage: "Don't you have those which you would call feelings? What ridiculous ideals do you shelter that you let other people be killed for them? I can never understand you beasts. Only your best friend remains. You know more about her than I can tell you, so would you save her in return for giving up on your beliefs?"

Entirely overwhelmed by grief, the woman ran to her best friend, hugged her tightly and then said: "You can kill her, but I know of something that can't be bought."

The third speculator pulled the trigger. A fourth speculator, quite forgetfull of his elegant manners, tied the woman in front of the fourth machine and then asked...

The Answer

A throng of reporters waited for the woman outside the judging hall, so when she finally left the building she was intercepted by the swarm of cameras, flashes and questions.

"How could you let innocents die for your ideas? You were not even willing to to sacrifice your own life!" "How can you be so insensitive?" "Do you see yourself as a murderer?"

Indeed the woman didn't seem to be sad. She took a calmed pause before replying to everyone:

The ones who died have died as martyrs, knowing that they were dying for something bigger than just their lives: something that can't be bought.”

Why would I see myself as a murderer? While speculators not only took their lives away, but deprived them of real ones, my beliefs offered them a way to become great human beings. Whose ideals have pulled triggers this afternoon, and whose gave them real lives?”

“About me, they might have shot me too, but they could not even dream of pushing me into non-existence.”


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