About the Contest
Now, Logiczombie contests are one of the peculiar kind which calls for new and some times, unchartered ways to look at the situation. If you understand the case, then you come out with a story to explain the situation.
The situation that is expected to be discussed here is the Cyber Pirates vs Werewolf Ninjas. What are they? And how do you participate? Go ahead and check the link that I have shared.
Have fun participating!
It Is Their Responsibility To Keep Me Happy!
Shane passed through the neighbourhood and looked at the dilapidated structures with disappointment. He was already 40, and he was still here in the same area. Most of his childhood friends had left years back along with their families, and the ones that remained were blessed with jobs and had a family to take care of. Shane too had a family to take care of, but it was his wife's earning that was running the home at the moment.
He remembered his youth days and how he had envisaged a lavish lifestyle and wanted to have all those metallic coloured V8s, the big mansions with all facilities and everything at his disposal. But now he was 40 and his dreams.. They weren't crumbling; they hadn't even started. The world seemed to be a happy place, somehow forgetting to include him in that happiness. He sat on the kerb and watched all those office goers busy on their cell phones. They must be doing something important, he thought. And here he was sitting down doing nothing, worth nothing and of use to no one.
He wasn't sure how these people could be happy. It was as if they were born with that innate skill or maybe having accomplished everything they were pleased. But how could they? What were they doing differently? Shane wasn't always broke. He too had a good income, good job but things changed, and now he was broke. It was as if the world conspired against his happiness.
The newspapers said that the government was responsible for all the turmoil. Though he was sceptical of that, over a while, Shane started believing what the papers said. Maybe it was the government that showed apathy. It was the government which stole away his riches and even his happiness.
He wanted to get back at the government. But what could he do?
Shane joined all those protests against the government. He wasn't representing anyone but himself. In that sense, he went there without any ulterior motive. Over a period of time, many of the same protestors noticed him and made him part of the team. It missed him that these protests, though varied in reason, had similar populace participating. It could be genuine, or someone choreographed the demonstrations themselves.
These protestors seemed to get money from somewhere. Shane was least concerned from where the money came, but what changed was the fact that Shane was starting to earn. The initial genuine dissatisfaction of the government turned to protest without reason. Even if there were protests for things that Shane did not support, he went ahead to participate. He earned, but something within him did not gel with the idea of what he was doing. With every passing day, he found it that much more difficult to respond to his gang men's call to go for the next protest. The money came, but satisfaction did not. He was more miserable than when he had started.
A turn of events was in store for Shane. He wasn't watched by the protestors alone, who claimed to have similar interests, but also by those against the protests. One of them was Arnold. He was a man in his sixties pushing towards the seventies but still an ardent news reporter. On non-working days and non-working hours, he would spend quality time with his family and the local church. He did not approve of the protestors or the reason for protests, but he did what he had to – cover the protests for the daily news.
For some reason, Arnold picked up that Shane was different. He noticed that Shane was passionate about the protests earlier but that passion was nowhere visible anymore. Arnold knew that he was a good man doing a bad job. He had to help. After all, that was what the church taught him.
During one such protests, Arnold was filming the group and Shane appeared uncomfortable from the beginning and was trying to put a distance between himself and the group. He even avoided the cameramen, but he could not dodge Arnold. Arnold kept Shane in sight and was sure that the lad would break away and leave. He continued filming the group and even got a few interviews done. When there was nothing more to cover, the team packed up.
Arnold asked his team to leave and told them that he would join later. Arnold walked towards Shane, who noticed him from a distance. Shane had no reason to believe that Arnold was approaching him, so he got up to leave.
Arnold called, "hey, you."
Shane turned and saw Arnold waving. With no one around him and with the protestors about a couple of meters away, Shane realized the Arnold was calling him. "What's it, man?"
"I see that you are not joining the protests today," Arnold said.
Shane was a bit shaken. He looked at the man closely and saw his lanyard with the name of one of the popular news channels. "Look, man, I am not interested in any interviews. You can ask the larger group…"
"And I am not here to take any interviews. Do you see my camera anywhere?"
"You reporters cannot be trusted. You could have something hidden. Haven't I seen enough?"
"Sure, but you can trust your group, can't you?"
Shane did not say anything. Maybe his conscience did not see him anymore as part of the group. He did not answer. "What do you want?"
"Well, in my free time, I work with the many institutions counselling youths and young adults."
"Good for you," Shane said and walked away.
"I just wanted to talk to you."
"I don't need no counselling," Shane turned while speaking and kept walking backwards, "you may want to find another customer."
"Customer? Hah, that's the funniest thing that I have ever heard," Arnold said and kept following Shane, "what's your name?"
"None of your business."
"You seem to be afraid of me. Any reason?"
"Any reason not to? You work for the government."
"Yes, as much as you work for those protestors?"
"What? I don't work for anybody."
"And neither do I work for the government. In fact, should I not be seen as anti-government because I was covering your protest?"
"Look, man, I ask again, what do you want?"
"I can read people from experience, and I know you are with them but not a part of them."
Shane was a bit dumbfounded. The man had indeed read him right. He remained silent.
"I know that you had a reason earlier to be here, but that reason does not support your presence here anymore."
"I am unhappy with the government. They are the reason that I am in such a bad state."
"And now you are happy?"
Shane realized that he was already being counselled. He did not have to take that sh*t. That said, he wanted the discussion to continue. Shane had no one to talk about his condition so he might as well share it with this guy. Either way, once they parted ways, who was going to know, he thought. "I am 40, and I keep losing jobs because the government is doing nothing to create jobs. They only care about the rich businessmen, not us."
"So, why don't you become a businessman? You will be taken care of."
"It's not that easy."
"I know, but you seem to believe that you tag yourself as a businessman and the government comes running to help you."
Shane was checkmated there, "what's your point?"
"My point is, till the time you think others are responsible for your happiness, you will never be happy."
"And you know this how?"
"Look at me. I am experienced," Arnold laughed.
Shane was beginning to like the conversation. There was nothing expected of him, and nothing imposed on him. He was relaxed.
"Even the so-called businessmen started somewhere. They were small once, but then they grew. If they had protested then that the government did not help, they wouldn't have got anywhere."
"But when they grow, the government helps, doesn't it?"
"That's no different from your protestor buddies supporting you once they saw you coming every time."
Shane did not like that comparison, but he chose to listen.
"When businesses grow, it makes sense for the government to help them because they create jobs. And people like you and me are the ones who take those jobs. If the corporation fails, so do we. So, the government has to help."
"That's' an excellent way of saying that they care about the businesses and not us."
"If you keep insisting that the government is the one that has got to give you everything, then what have you given the government?"
"So, have I and I have a job. It looks like the government is doing a good job."
"Easy for you to say."
"Look, the more you put the onus on someone other than you to take care of you, the more you will remain powerless. You seem to deny the fact that you were born without the government's approval. You grew, you worked, and you even protested without the government's approval, and yet your livelihood should be provided by the government. So, why relying on them for this only?"
Shane thought about it. He went back to the time that he was working and realized that he wasn't so critical of the government or anyone else at that time. He wasn't sure how thing changed. He was not the one to blame someone else for something happening to him.
"You are powerful enough," Arnold continued, "to created whatever you want to create."
"I am not so sure."
"You decided to protest to the extent of getting these guys interested in you. Weren't you powerful then?"
"So, then put that same energy into something constructive, you will win. You've proved that already."
Shane thought about it and for once felt in control of his life. He did not have all that he had wished for yet, but then he had his spirit alive still. He wanted to go for it and let go of the protests. He could do something better at the same time.
The story talks about our thinking than anybody being right or wrong. We have been conditioned to believe that all the good that happens is because of us, and all that goes wrong is because of the government. Government is just an example here, and there could be many other things or people or circumstances one could blame for his/her drawbacks. That is not required. The more we acknowledge our shortcomings, the more we will be able to work on it to improve it. The more we put it on somebody else, the more ignorant we would become of ourselves as much as powerless. That is the gist of the story.
So, the government here forms the Cyber Pirates who's mere presence makes most believe that it is their job to ensure peoples' well-being. Shane, on the other hand, was the Werewolf Ninjas, who took matters into his own hands, albeit, for the wrong reasons (protests). Arnold comes in like a breath of fresh air and fills in the void that required a Logiczombie.
I hope you enjoyed the story!
Image Courtesy: Logic Zombie Logo and Pixabay