Once, an extraordinarily successful woman went on vacation. She chose a surprisingly small island that could be fully explored in less than 15 minutes. There was so little space that by the very next morning, she had already had enough of sightseeing. On her way home, she noticed something interesting: the coast was covered with mollusks. Curiously, however, she noted they did not live in shells but rather sheltered themselves in plastic containers of different types. She began to feel sorry for the mollusks because they weren’t living inside their beautiful shells.
After asking the islanders what had happened, she found out that the shells in which the mollusks had lived had been harvested and taken to the market. As a result, a large proportion of the mollusks lost their homes. When looking for shelter, they had only one alternative: to inhabit the boxes, recipients, and other containers that had been discarded on the island by tourists.
The woman was wealthy and had a big heart, so she decided to solve the problem. First, she rented a motorboat; then, she made her way to a market on another island, where she purchased many seashells. She brought them to the island and started scattering them about. Soon the entire coast was covered with shells. What do you think happened next? Did the mollusks thank the woman for her work?
The woman observed the mollusks for several days. Unfortunately, the mollusks did not climb into the shells. Instead, they continued residing in the trash, containers, and recipients that the tourists had left behind.
This generous woman reminded me of many intelligent people who have tried to change humanity. These enlightened ones have written mountains of books and created philosophies to illuminate a world littered with dark values. Nevertheless, people are used to living in synthetic dreams, like mollusks in improvised shelters, in containers left by passersby…
“Alex, What nonsense? Impudence! How dare you call people mollusks?” one of my readers will interrupt my thought. But I’m not talking about the readers. I’m talking about my stupidity. For a long time I was stuck in the standard pattern of thinking—the shell of pattern habits. I was a little cowardly mollusk.
(By the way, the woman who tried to save those mollusks was Marina Abramović. I found this story in her book “Walk Through Walls: A Memoir.”)