Published On: Fri, Jun 9th, 2017

Island friends; conclusion

On my cruise around the Caribbean, I met a Businessman who issued Deeds of Ownership, even for all the things that are not owned by anybody. All alone on his island, he was just miserable and played being a Businessman to keep up pretenses.

Then there was a Thief, who was very depressed because he was alone on his island and there was nothing to steal so that he could keep his status as a Thief. He feared that even his status as a Thief would be taken away from him and thus, he became a victim in anticipation. He was destitute.

The King was all set and ready to dole out Decorations to his subjects in Grand Ceremonies, but he had no subjects, he was all alone. How much longer would he have to sit on his throne, dressed in a heavy ermine mantle, with all his regalia wasting time and history?

The Professor was too afraid to leave his desk to do field research and become a real scientist. He had become a man torn between bureaucratic duty and academic zeal.

My new island friends were all going through hard times. They were alone, and all values, denominations, and connotations paled into their reality of isolation and lonely nothingness. I wondered what I could do to help them out of their misery.

At first, I considered proposing to them to move onto just one island and work together. Unfortunately, they were so attached to their mother soil, that such option was ruled out immediately. So, I proposed a Federation of Islands, with free traffic and trade, the Caribbean Union or CU.

Imagine, the Thief could steal from the Businessman. The Businessman could buy and sell to the Professor, the Thief, and the King. The King would expand his territory and rule over four islands. The Professor could expand his library four times especially if he got the Thief, the King, and the Businessman to become his scouts. The opportunities would bring activity, profit, and happiness to all four; they would only gain and loose nothing.

But that suggestion was met with deep mistrust. All four looked eager to kill the messenger, instead of dealing with the message.

The Businessman, afraid of competition, declared me a Persona-non-grata. The King refused to see me and commanded a travel ban, and the Professor moved his desk into an ivory tower. The Thief organized some armed robberies, which must have made him happy. All four started foul-mouthing me behind my back.

The hate level between the islands went up to maximum alarm status, and everybody was more miserable than before. I very much regretted ever making any suggestion to alleviate the misery of my so-called island friends.

The lesson I learned was that the status quo is the result of a lengthy process of many, minute steps that ultimately materialize in an equilibrium that is not to be disturbed. People can be so very comfortable in their misery, that any effort to change it, even for improvement, should be abandoned.

By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Columnist Curaçao Chronicle

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