Friday, March 21, 2008

The root problem?

The root problem isn't something keen to fit in the guise of normal words. It's something that one could spend a very long time explaining without ever getting much across the void between two minds. It can be clearly defined and remain ambiguous. The root problem, to begin, is the question. The question as it is a whole concept, not a mere iteration of said concept. It is very important, however, to emphasize that the root problem is also the answer, particularly in the manner that it, the answer, becomes a question itself. Thus, the root problem is the question and the answer.

You can't take my gold.

The other day I visited a strangers house, and, for a time, it was uneventful. Two of the few people in the room, friends, men, were talking about guns and how fun they were. One of the men brought up the practical aspects of gun ownership: "When you have a gun, nobody can take your gold."

"Yes," the friend confirmed.

"And not only that, when you have a gun, you can take other people's gold."
It was at this point that my friend, whom I admire for his wisdom, spoke up joining the conversation.

"You can't take my gold."

"If I had a gun, I could take your gold. You couldn't stop me. Even if you had a gun, you wouldn't be expecting me."

"You can't take my gold." My friend repeated, simply, with a grin.

I am not one who enjoys conflict. I was very uncomfortable and couldn't understand why my friend persisted so.

"Dude. I've had a gun pulled on me and let me tell you, when you see a gun, you know at any moment you could die. When you see a gun, you empty your pockets."

"I've had guns pulled on me. But you can't take my gold."

I could stand it no longer; I went outside to escape the pressure.

For a few days I pondered this scenario as it repeatedly surfaced in my conscious thought dialog. It did seem that someone with a gun could surely take someone else's gold quite easily, yet my friend had never wavered in his confidence. This friend, great as he is, I knew, has an ego. I had thought all along that he was being egotistical, sparring with words exhibiting strength and fearlessness; primal superiority, I thought, rode the undertone of his words... until it struck me.

Ryan's gold isn't made of metal.