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A story about the rise and fall of Unions
- by Paul Biebel 03/06/94
President, Biebel Builders, Inc.
Windsor, Vt 05089
The Beast stood in the arena, towering over his opponents. His stature bulged with power and his muscles and tendons detailed the fiber and tenacity of his graceful form. He was boisterous and arrogant and armed with a gold-plated shield of bronze and an iron spear. Like the Goliath of old, he taunted his opponents, daring anyone to challenge him in his deadly games. No one answered. Everyone wished he would go away. But day after day he came back and day after day no one answered his taunt.
"Who is that?" a little boy asked? "He's very big!" Someone replied, "His name is OPPRESSION. He comes every day to do battle and defeats anyone who dares to challenge him." The boy looked at his shield and spear. They were huge. In fact, they were bigger than he was. From where he was standing, he could see something written on them. "What is that word on his shield?" the boy asked. "WEALTH." his friend replied somberly. "and the spear?" … "POWER"… "Can't anyone defeat him?" the boy asked persistently, "He must have a weakness ... somewhere." There was silence. Then someone sighed, "If he does, then we haven't found it."
One day a small group of men gathered together to discuss how to overcome the giant. He had become so powerful and unbearable that something had to be done. As each of the neighbors sat and discussed their options, one of them suggested, "Why don't we band together and fight him. If we fight together, we can overcome the Beast."
So they pooled their meager resources together and made swords and shields and spears and arrows. On their breastplate and helmet they wrote the word "UNION" and made themselves ready to fight the mighty Beast. On the day of battle, they attacked the Beast from all sides, shooting arrows and spears and flashing their crude weapons. They cut and slashed and wounded and pierced until the Beast went down. He was destroyed that day as they stood together without pity and watched him die. There was a great celebration. Together, they had accomplished what nobody could do alone and on that day, UNION was born.
He quickly grew and grew. He increased in stature. He increased in wealth. He increased in power. Nobody noticed that he was becoming arrogant and boisterous because UNION was on their side. UNION thought "I am untouchable, I am invincible, I "AM" and "ALWAYS WILL BE". One day UNION met a gorgeous woman and fell in love. Her name was GAIN. They had a beautiful romance together and eventually formed a permanent
partnership in marriage. Now, UNION'S focus and life centered on GAIN, his lovely bride. He thought about her every moment of every day. He dreamed about her, he caressed her , and he made love to her. He thought of nothing else but GAIN.
His wife gave him two sons. He named the firstborn "WANT", and his second son "MORE". They became attractive and strong and he made them spokesmen for the kingdom. As time went on, UNION became a very jealous man, striking out at anything and anyone who seemed to be a threat to his lovely bride and family, not caring who he hurt. He protected them with violence. He formed an army of loyal subjects, paying them well, giving them much leisure and working them less. He demanded more and more from those whom he overcame and gave some of it to his army and kept the rest for himself. Nobody noticed that He was hurting and oppressing others who didn't belong to the family of UNION, but nobody would have cared anyway, because they were too comfortable to see it. Some outsiders were even forced to make donations to the UNION family so they could be protected from possible oppression. Nobody noticed that UNION had become just like the BEAST for they had become fat and lazy and had forgotten that day of battle long ago.
Well, the day came when UNION was confronted by a formidable foe. He was slender, smart and strong and knew how to fight. He was a shrewd fighter, relentless and quick, often working in the dark where he would be undetected. His name was COMPETITION and his army was well trained by a General named "EXCELLENCE".
UNION didn't notice COMPETITION at first. He could only feel his presence. But UNION wasn't worried because he had a large family with many siblings. He had a large army called PROTECTION. He counted on it to preserve his power, but UNION wasn't aware of just how large and invisible COMPETITION had become and how insignificant his own army really was. He began to lose a few small skirmishes as his foe tested his strength. A little was taken here, a little there. A piece at a time would disappear but UNION continued to feel secure because it was only a little and GAIN was always there at his side. But one day she suddenly died.
Now, UNION was scared. He had always had GAIN and didn't know how he could live without her. She was his rock to stand on and without her, he didn't know how to lead. And, to make matters worse, COMPETITION was getting stronger and stronger and decisions had to be made. Hard decisions. How would he explain to his huge family that they would have to live without GAIN? How would he explain that COMPETITION would soon win over his powerful army PROTECTION and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it? He was having a difficult time convincing his army to fight because he couldn't guarantee that they would win.
UNION saw that he was just one nation. COMPETITION was many nations. UNION suddenly realized that nobody would help him because he had oppressed those who weren't family. In fact, those that had been oppressed by UNION believed that COMPETITION would win, but worried that it, too, would become just another BEAST.
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