I worry sometimes that greed will be the downfall of civilization. In
every doom scenario that I really think about, one of the key factors
to the destruction of everything is greed.
A few wanting a lot, leaving the majority to suffer. It seems sad
somehow. We are fish trapped in a too small tank. When the food runs
out, we begin to eat each other to survive. We drift from one clump of
food to another, biting and nipping at fins and sides, friendly at
first, but harder and harder as the food runs scarce.
You feel bad when you act like a fish. Guilty all the time as you
skitter-scat around, the realization that the food is running out
heavy on your mind. You have to protect yourself, your young, you need
You look at the other fish, grasping maws flopping and japing. They
want everything and you’ll get nothing if you don’t fight hard. You
nip and bite, always needing to get to the food. But then the food
begins to run out — you are all biting so hard, so desperately, a few
gorging themselves fat — the seemingly plentiful amount has
disappeared to almost none. A few morsels here and there, barely
enough to feed the young.
Your bites become harder and faster. You’re bit a few times here and
there, bleeding gashes that scar into silver threads against your
scales. You’re lean and ruthless–you have to be what with the way the
world is outside. Those other fish are biting at you too, growing fat
as they take, take, take. Your only way to fight back is to be just as
mean. You protect what’s yours.
You group around with other young fish. You move together in a single
ripple through the water. You hunt around for the weak and the old.
You nibble away at them a bite at a time, hungry to starving, gaining
strength as they grow weak. You leave them breathing behind you.
Another fish is suddenly after you. Bites you so hard, so deep, that
even if you survive the weakness will continue to bleed from you.
You’ve been taken from predator to prey. You’ve outlived your time.
His voice is ragged and deep. “I was just fighting to survive.”
I don’t know if I would ever wish to be a fish.