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Gut the Fat Dragon
(1137 words) On reciprocity.
To consider life from the height of a bird, one comes to see his own with a freshness that is often revealing—and the view I've seen most recent is what I wish to talk about now.
Today finds me in the midst of a transformative period. Death and rebirth, if all things work out. You see, a month ago I quit my job in order to write more, because writing is what I like to do most. It was a long decision to get here, but in the end I found the answer to be that simple.
With my days now open to my own interpretation, I find myself spending my afternoons outdoors; watching the birds and the trees, going for walks and hikes—thinking about it all, and trying not to think at all.
The other day I was watching a group of bees pollinate the Bottlebrush in my backyard when a realization occurred to me: that for the bulk of my short adult life, I have operated on a mindset of scarcity—the type of scarcity which comes to define a hoarder: scarcity of the mind.
Through proper reaction, a person can open him- or herself to the world—to new experiences, new insights, new beginnings. So too can that person become equally restricted. And when this restriction is facilitated by an ailment such as scarcity, the mind affects the body in accordance. In this case, the physical being is transformed. He becomes a creature hellbent on collecting things, perhaps all things, lest they end up in the hands or belly of someone who is not him.
He becomes a man with a disease—as his mind exists in a state of dis-ease. No doubt can we attribute this condition part and parcel with our material-driven society; wherein every child is brought up on the dogmatic falsehood that is the power of the individual—the one who succeeds via the pursuance of his own glory, no matter the costs in doing so.
In other words, his mind is focused on the I. As in, I must keep my secrets to myself, my gems of ideas, my influences, my discoveries, my faults and their learned lessons—in order that I may be the one to climb to the top of the hill first.
Our schools teach us things like trademarks and copyrights. “Be smart! Protect your interest!” They say. “Do not open yourself, or risk your ideas taken and claimed by another so that your glory becomes theirs.”
When I was in film school, a professor told my freshman class that out of everyone in the room, there was to be only one amongst who would find significant success as a filmmaker. If that. There were around sixty of us in that audience and the cost of a chair was fifty-thousand dollars a year. I remember looking around the room, all of us thinking the same thing, "Fuck you, it's gonna be me."
But how wrong this mode of thinking is!
You see, what it does is separate man from his collective whole. We have survived as a species solely because of each other. This we have done for millennia. And through most of that time, the individual—the I who hoards—has been the one who becomes death. He is akin to the dragon who lives in the castle on the aforementioned hill, having climbed to the top just to lock himself behind closed doors; his belly fat, hissing at anyone who dare approach the pile of treasure he’s accumulated and made it his life’s mission to protect.
Let us return to the viewpoint of the bird.
See this dragon is fat not because he is successful, even though it may seem so from first glance. Watch him for a moment longer and what you will see is false abundance. The dragon sits on a pile of treasure, yes, but he is fat only because he is constipated.
The dragon’s hoard thus becomes his trap. The fat bastard will be forever stuck until he accepts the need for release. Should he maintain the mindset of scarcity, keeping all he's accumulated bottled, eventually he will perish along with his hoard of treasure—and this he will do whilst being alone in the world. This is a detriment to both the dragon and everyone else who wishes to climb a hill of their own.
What is needed today is a mindset of abundance rooted in reciprocity—where the creature, instead of hoarding, willingly shares his treasure so that, in return, he sees it come back in droves.
The American Dream is dead. The individual I has had his ride. We are living in the midst of a turning point whereupon the outcome of our species is no longer a guarantee—due mostly to our own human inactions. On a 24-hour, non-stop basis, we are being made to be fearful, confused, angry and afraid. We are turning away from each other, and we are killing each other loudly.
We simply don't know how to be anymore.
Remember the beginning of the pandemic in 2020? Recall the notable disappearance of toilet paper from the shelves of stores. Scarcity mindset. At a time when an opportunity was presented to come together as a community, as one people, we turned further into the realm of the I. Now it is two years later, and all we have to show for it are our fatter hoards.
What a travesty it is that the youth of today have grown to witness lie upon lie, continued backslides in legislature, economic collapse, egregious failure in leadership, unnecessary violence—leaving us with nothing but an uncertainty that has separated us into staunch, tribal factions; devolving mass populations via social division the likes of which the last three generations has never seen.
We must see from the bird’s eye that things will get better only after they have gotten worse. The tipping point of our crisis is not yet reached—but when it is, we shall only survive if we choose to live on a mindset of reciprocity. We are all brothers and sisters of mankind. We must open our doors and windows, our minds and our hearts, and send out the hoard of treasures we have roosted upon, for treasure is only of value when it is shared.
Do you honestly think your hoard contains the best treasure out there?
Everyone has room for his or her own hill. This Earth is abundant enough. Let us combine our hills and soon we will build a mountain that reaches the stars.
To see any semblance of the future we were promised, we must stop reaping in order to start building.
We must gut the dragon to find a release.
Spread the pollen, be like the bees.