Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
Once upon a time, there was a peaceful land that lay in a wide valley sheltered between the angry, towering, dark-clouded crags of the Altright Mountains and the sun-capped ridges of the Rainbow Ivory Mountains.
The name of this land was Reason. Its inhabitants were known as The Reasonables. But most people from outside called them Independents.
Through the middle of the valley ran the river of free thought. It was a life-sustaining flow that nourished all the people in the valley.
There were some pollutants in the waters, but most of the polluting thoughts, the hate-filled and antagonizing pollutants, were stored behind a dam at the head of the valley. Most of the evil influences, collected by the filters there, sank to the bottom of Lake Suspicion which the dam held back.
Then one year, the most despised leaders of the Rainbow Ivory dwellers and the Altright Mountain inhabitants started a war. It was a bitter conflict. Then, in the midst of the conflict, someone blew up the dam.
All the hatred and evil invectives that sank to the bottom of Suspicion Lake flooded out into the valley. The flood destroyed the land. The people who lived there were being forced to climb one or the other of the two mountains.
Eventually the flood receded. But the land was devastated. It took generations before the valley could be restored. The Reasonables, once again in their homeland, turned their backs on both of the mountainside dwellers and never again forgave them.
Eventually, both bands of mountain-dwellers died off. Their offspring, not wanting to live in such discord, joined the Reasonables and helped rebuild the land.
The offspring had learned that neither mountaintop was the nirvana promised. It only held hate and misery.
The only end.