The Shafting Pyramid

It is waxing hot and cold outside. That’s what I think anyway, judging from how the light seems to glow and wane in five to ten minute blocks. I’ve changed the bed sheet masquerading as my curtain lining with a cleaner one. My small room feels brighter and cleaner than it really is. My table is dusty, my hair unkempt, and I’m lying in my useless excuse of a mattress, deepening the crater like depression formed by someone who weighs less than a bag of cement. I can feel my chest tightening. I can feel the adrenaline and cortisol coursing through my arteries and veins. Med school is about to resume, and with it all the stress and fears that I’ve been keeping at bay for the last four weeks.

I’m an internet junkie with a huge procrastination problem. The one thing I had going for me was a friend with a sympathetic ear, and talking with her constantly obviated the need to frantically type and flesh out my thoughts on this open journal. As you can cleverly deduce, that situation is now over, and I’m back, tail between my legs, hoping to making amends for having abandoned you. However, that’s not what I want to talk about.

I’ve slowly come to realize that there is a pecking order, and we’re all heavily invested in climbing the ladder to get to the top. There’s no such thing as opting out, as refusing to fight for your place only relegates you to a lower position. Those who don’t want to fight it out will say that they do not belong to this world, that there’s a better place waiting for them in the afterlife. Those at the top will clamor for peace, so that the status quo can remain as it is. Those at the bottom wishing for upward momentum will shout for ‘justice’ and ‘freedom’, exhorting the importance of ‘democracy’, only to start praying for ‘peace’ when they get to the top.Our organization into societies and nation states has lessened the cruelty of this pecking order, of this shafting pyramid. But it still exists, and it will not be ignored.

It is this shafting pyramid that dictates how many opportunities we each get in life, from the number and quality of women who will look our way, to the number of people that will attend your funeral when you finally escape. Societies, countries and even continents fight for supremacy as well, as ‘Superorganisms’ on this totem pole of violence,deceit and exploitation. But you already know this. I’m not saying anything new. I’m accepting this harsh truth, yielding to the demands of this shafting pyramid.

We could try to demolish this pyramid, but it would take the cooperation of all of us and an extraordinary imagination to do away with the old and usher in a world without violence, a world devoid of self interest. A utopia that seems to be forever beyond our grasp. It pains me to rightly state that this is not something I’ll see in my lifetime. It pains me to accept that I’m changing, that my naivety and innocence is slowly being chipped away. It pains me to always be on my guard when dealing with others, accounting for their own self interest and making contingencies lest I end up getting hurt, or worse, losing. Someone famous once said that we should be the change that we want to see in the world. But the more things change, the more they remain the same.

The plan is simple. Forge alliances with like minded people and claw our way to the top (or as close to the top as we can get). Get a good girl and settle down and maybe entertain the notion of doing something good for humanity before leaving the world. I can’t help but feel that there’s more to life than this. I wonder what that could be. I wonder what life would like without the shafting pyramid. Would I still love to push reading for my exams till the last minute? Would I enjoy binge watching House M.D and The X Files instead of reading pathology, waiting for that last week before the exam to choke down the thick, bitter juice that has been fermenting in my cup of sorrow? Probably. I love the pressure.

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