Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let me tell you a story.

This is the sad story of the People Who Weren't Humble (Phumbles for short). Phumbles often forgot things and almost always forgot to say thank you. Phumbles thought of themselves rather as beautiful peacocks that could not get their feathers dirty, otherwise, they wouldn't be beautiful peacocks anymore, they would be dirty-feathered peacocks. Phumbles often forgot that peacocks are peacocks, and sometimes others did not care much whether you were a peacock at all, let alone a beautiful or dirty-feathered one.

One day, a group of Phumbles noticed another in their midst. Although they all looked the same, lived in the same place, and did the same things, this other person was a Person In Doubt (or a Pid for short) - although they did not know this yet. They asked the Pid why he looked so perplexed. the Pid replied, "Well, I was just told that I do not qualify as a Phumble because I am a Pid."

"Really? Why?"

"I don't know. I never thought of it before. Someone simply came up to me and told me so. Do I look different?"

The other Phumbles looked at him and then at themselves. They agreed that he did not look different.

"Do I do different things? Am I from another world?" The Phumbles agreed that he was not at all different from them.

Suddenly one of them piped up. "You do appear to be unhappy. Perhaps even... thoughtful."

All the Phumbles suddenly drew back. It was true. He looked thoughtful.

The Pid looked even more perplexed.

"So?" He asked.

"So?! Don't you know that when you are thoughtful, it means you are in doubt?"

"What is so bad about doubt?" asked the Pid.

"Well, if you are not careful, you begin to question That Which is Unquestionable."

"What is that?" asked the Pid.

The Phumbles looked over their shoulder and then leaned in conspirationally.

"We don't know. But we have been very good in not questioning the Unquestionable, we do not want it to seem like we are actually discussing it. You would benefit from doing the same."

The Pid pondered on this.

"You are doing it again!" squealed a Phumble. "Stop it before someone notices!"

Pid tried to shake the alert expression off his face. Somehow, he could not stop himself from looking like he cared.

"Oh, no! What are you going to do? You might get arrrested!"

"Well it's not from doing anything that is unnatural to me!" stammered the Pid.

A Phumble leaned back and eyed the Pid disdainfully.

"You mean, it is natural for you to want to question the Unquestionable? Are you sure you are one of us?"

The Pid stopped, sensing a change in the atmosphere.

"Well, aren't you in the least bit interested in what the Unquestionable is, let alone why there is a rule that we cannot question it? Who came up with that rule?"

The Phumbles all gasped and stepped back. The Pid looked around, alarmed.

"I mean, don't you want to put it all into perspective? After all, aren't we all responsible for our own actions? Can't we simply say, I want to know why I am supposed to not question the Unquestionable?"

A Phumble fainted, another put her hands to her mouth and shook her head.

"Are you criticising the Unquestionable?" asked a Phumble ominously.

"No. I am not criticising the Unquestionable because nobody knows what it is. How could I criticise it? I am criticising the fact that we don't know what it is." The Pid opened his hands, waiting for them to grasp the inevitable logic.

"Are you calling us dumb and ignorant?!"

The Pid thought to himself that that is what he would call them if he was like them, but he did not voice this thought.

"No, I am saying that maybe we have not noticed, or maybe we have forgotten, but we should make it a point now to remember, to ask first, what is this Unquestionable, and if we get no answer, then ask, why are we supposed to not question it? Do you follow me?"

The Phumbles started grumbling to each other.

"Articulation is the tool of manipulation and chicanery." "He thinks he is better than us." "If everyone questioned the Unquestionable, what is the point of having the Unquestionable? It would then be Questionable."

The Pid smiled to himself over how the last question was such a double-edged sword. That Phumble was either on the verge of pure revelation, or on the verge of closing himself forever to it.

The Pid then ventured to say, "Perhaps seeking knowledge will help you on your way through this quandary you are in."

The Phumbles, not used to hearing suggestions, took this offering as an insult to their intelligence and an assumption of their stupidity. Immediately, this blinded them to the fact that this was true by reacting as if they were stupid and needed to be given the advice in the first place.

"Arrest him! He dares to insult the Unquestionable!"

They grab the Pid, who shouts, "But why, what have I done? All I did was say that you could make an informed decision if you sought knowledge. Sought the truth!"

"The act of seeking knowledge implies that there is none in our heads! It implies that there is something about the Unquestionable that is doubtful! It implies that we are stupid and living a lie!"

The Pid shook his head. He knew how true that would sound to someone unwilling to change. But what if they simply saw it as a chance to better themselves? To think that they would GAIN more knowledge instead of that they had zero knowledge.

He tried to say something to that effect, but they locked him up and threw away the key.

This is the end of the story.

Although the poor Pid suffered the most accutely, the story is sad because the Phumbles still go around thinking that they are beautiful peacocks.

The End.


pye:rudz said...

great satire. it doesn't take long for me to relate this to our country's political environment today.

dJ phuturecybersonique said...

Meanwhile, the leader of the Phumbles has the case of Emperor's New Clothes. The Pid keeps telling him that he's walking around stark naked without any feathers. He knows the Pid is right but thinks it's better to go on since that his sycophantic fellow Phumbles still shower him with praise that his imaginary feathers are most beautiful.

Anonymous said...

same old story..
very familiar!


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