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Problems of the World

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A few years ago I learned about an annual gathering of wise men. During these gatherings the wise men would converse about the problems of the world and if there are plausible solutions to them. After this gathering a small booklet is published which contains the record of the groups discussion. These meetings are closed off to the public and are held in absolute secrecy. Do to what can only be described as luck I was able to attend the latest gathering with the job of refilling the wise men’s refreshments. This position enabled me a rare first hand look into the minds of the wise. Many wonderful yet simplistic solutions to the world’s problems were stated, but I have no need to mention them as they will be released in this year’s booklet. After listening to the solutions to the problems, I found myself with a question.
“What is to blame as the cause of these problems?” I asked aloud. The question shocked the room into silence, as it was understood that I was not allowed to speak. The eyes of wise men from around the world were on me. I felt both embarrassed and in a way important.
“Young man,” A wise man on my right began, “It is our job to provide solutions, not causes of the problems, as it is your job to keep us hydrated and not to ask questions.”
“He has a point though.” Spoke a wise man behind me. “What is to blame? Should we not establish the source so we may fix it?”
“Yes.” Agreed a wise man from across the room. “To completely sole the problems, the source must be found.”
“Then who is to blame?” The wise man to my right shouted. All was silent, as each man thought of what to say.
“Education!” Squeaked a small man with glasses (this is not a distinguishing feature, as all wise men wear glasses). “The saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ is true. The more man learns, the unhappier he becomes. To be as the Neanderthal, who survived on instinct alone, is what is truly meant for man! With no education the simple man has no reason to be opinionated and fight other men because of it. Man would be happily at one with nature rather than unhappily above it.”
“Then it is not all education but science itself that is to blame.” Interjected a giant wise man standing in the center of the room. “The simple man must gain education to survive, but it is science that has advanced him to where he is today. Man’s first discovery of fire sets the road to his destruction. Ever since that point man has used fire to destroy all in his path. While science has helped to save lives, on the grand scale it has helped to destroy them. A hydrogen bomb could wipe out countless lives making it the epitome of scientific destruction, but science is unable to save many of the lives it could so easily destroy. Men fight because science has given them the power to do so, fewer fight against disease because science hasn’t made it any easier.”
“This is silly!” An old wise man said as he leaned on his cane. “Men do not fight because science has made it easier. The reason men fight now is the same as when they did with swords; Religion. Education does not lead to opinionated men as all men can not deny certain facts. Religion creates opinionated men. It creates multiple ideas on how to live life and when these ideas clash so do the swords. Religion is mans one hope of reward for being good, and when someone else tells him he is doing it wrong he takes offence. And why does man tell others they are doing it wrong? Because if all men do not believe the same then doubt and fear will lurk in man’s head. So they fight that fear by fighting all who disagree.”
“You’re all wrong!” A voice from the crowd of glasses cried. “Society is to blame! In today’s world a regular man sees all those who are famous and envies them. He wishes to stand out among the crowd, but to do so, something drastic must be done. Not all are fortunate enough to make it in a newspaper through luck and talent, so many try through desperate means! By stealing, murdering, or destruction a man is able to ensure a moment in the spotlight.”
“Your argument lacks logic.” Stated a handsome young man next to the exit. “All men fight over one thing, women. As in all creatures, man will fight each other for a mate. All men’s achievements have been in an effort to impress females. To be the strongest, bravest, fastest, smartest, man must prove it against other men. However, because only one can be the best at something men fight for such a position.”
“The worst fight over a woman happened in Troy. Now there are nothing more then bar fights. Men don’t fight just because of women!” Shouted the short man.
“Well education certainly isn’t to blame! Religion is!” Added another wise man.
“What gives you the right to decide that? Science—”
“—no it is obviously society—”
“—it is man’s nature to fight—”
“—without proper knowledge man couldn’t—”
“—religion created man, so it—”
“—here’s what I think of your argument!”

One of the wise men hurled his glass at another man. The one behind me threw his. Soon the entire room was filled with men cutting at each other with broken glass. Blood began to soak the floor. I quietly and quickly backed up and moved out of the room, avoiding getting hurt. As I walked away from the fight I felt horrible as I knew it was my fault.
“Why so glum?” I looked up and saw a man standing against the wall. It was the wise man who sat on my right.
“You were right sir. I shouldn’t have brought up such a pointless topic. It’s all my fault.”
“Don’t worry about it. We do this every year.





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