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Only Scraps

This text and many others can be found on Radiant Days, my collection of fragmentary writing. For example, try this one, this one, or this one.

The first thing to know about me is I was born in the wrong place. I should have been born somewhere where people are free and full of love. Instead I was born in a world where people play power games and fight for scraps. That word “scraps” explains the problem, I think. Instead of sharing a mountain and enjoying the whole mountain, which belongs to no one, each person wants a piece. One person sees he can make a nice little business selling soft drinks to the hikers there, and another doesn’t like that because it spoils the view from his veranda. So the power games begin. The once calm and happy mountain is divided into warring territories. In the world into which I was born, this pattern repeats itself at every level, from children competing to be their mothers’ favorite, through the power games of generals who kill millions to win an extra star.

It’s been this way, we are told, ever since there were people. Even animals do it, a war of survival in which the predator is the next victim. Even plants do it, with vines strangling a great oak to reach the sun. So it isn’t people’s fault, apparently. The universe is hard-wired this way, it seems. There isn’t really a place here for someone like me, who would be happy to live on air, water and sunlight, feet scarcely touching the ground. Instead, the world being what it is, I’ve been forced to make compromises—but as I’ve already said, it’s not my fault. In a world like this one, such compromises are inescapable. The whole mountain doesn’t exist—there are only scraps.


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