Who Rules You?

Fred:
“Hi, I’m Fred Cuellar, and I’d like to welcome today’s audience to the first of three scheduled “Meaning of Life” debates between our two candidates Love and Fear. The candidates will each start with an opening statement—not exceeding three minutes. After that I will act as the moderator and alternate my questions between the two candidates. Each candidate will be given one minute to respond, and his opponent will be given a 30-second rebuttal. Neither candidate will be allowed to ask questions directly to each other as agreed upon by both parties. After the Q&A, each side will be given an additional three minutes to close with any final thoughts. Fear won the coin flip back stage so the floor is yours.”
Fear:
“Thanks Fred. It’s really great to be here, but let’s be honest folks, it’s really great to be anywhere! With so much hatred in the world, it’s a wonder any of us even leave our house! Violence is at an all time high. Young men and women are dying everyday in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our children can’t play in their own front yards because John Doe Pedophile lives next door or across the street. Our own government’s idea of minimum wage isn’t a living wage! Most of us are living paycheck to paycheck and are so heavily in dept that if any of us lost our job tomorrow it would be only a matter of time before a home sweet home is a homeless shelter. As a nation, we can’t even afford to get sick. I’m not trying to scare you. I’m just giving you the cold, hard facts. Life is hard. Life is temporary. Life’s a crap shoot! There is no rhyme or reason why anything happens. Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad. Love likes to say that everything happens for a reason. Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t make a difference because the one thing Love can’t escape—like the old saying goes—is death and taxes! At least by making me, Fear, your leader, I’ll keep you safe until it’s your time to go. Love has been quoted in the press that it is better to spend one day as a lion than a thousand as a lamb. Yet, it’s never there when that last day really comes! There isn’t a person here today that wouldn’t do whatever it takes to stay alive if they know my good friend, the Grim Reaper, was making a visit. Follow me! Give me your vote, and you’ll see that a life with fear is the only life worth living. It’s the only life that will give a chance for tomorrow!”
Fred:
“Your time is up. Thank you, Fear. Love, the floor is yours.”
Love:
“We live in a world of our own creation. If there is war, famine, or pestilence, it is because we have become a nation divided by our own conflict-ridden ideologies. We are not separate from each other. Yet, we choose to act like we are. Instead of celebrating our diversities, we outcast those that are different from ourselves. Until we exorcise Fear from our lives, we will be forced to live in self-doubt and solitude. Life is not a burden in any form; life is a blessing. It is a miracle. Where more than one join in my name so to will a union be formed; a union of souls. Individually, we are like a drop of rain that can be blown off course by the happenstance of the wind. While united we have the strength and fortitude of the ocean that can carry any ship into the harbor. My opponent wants us to believe that without fear we will be unable to set course in our life with any certainty. It believes that some how hiding behind our locked doors from the world around us will resolve the hatred that bore out of fear itself. Fear is not an overcoat that we wear to protect us from the elements. It is the element—the root cause of our current environment. If we are unable or unwilling to see ourselves in the eyes of those we choose to call our enemies, we will continue to breed fear and contemptent until we truly are the last one standing. No man is an island. No heart can stand alone.”
Fred:
“Thank you Love for your opening statement. I’d like to address my first question to you. In the current economic environment, isn’t it a little unrealistic to preach that everyone just needs to love one another? You know that’s not going to happen. Evil exists, and to pretend it doesn’t is fool-hardy!”
Love:
“Evil is nothing more than live spelled backwards. If evil exists, it is only because we forgotten how to live. We have forgotten that there is only one of us. We have subdivided ourselves from the color of our skin to the God we pray to. We label and categorize each other. We throw people away like garbage if they don’t think like us, look like us, or pray like us. This division between man didn’t occur over night so it won’t be solved overnight. You can’t kill evil with a sword; you can only change it with an embrace. Darkness cannot be diminished with more darkness. It is only in the full light of day that we can escape the shadows that follow our every step. Love each other isn’t a bumper sticker; it is our last refuge. Prisons don’t work. Violence, retribution and wars don’t work. At first it will seem insane to love the grenade of fear, doubt and hatred. But until we do the body count of those we love will continue to rise. Fighting our enemy doesn’t work so maybe it’s time to take another course. Love your enemy. Love them when they fly planes into our buildings. Love them when they take away your only son. Love them until your dying breath even when they have shot you. Then slowly, one by one, our enemies will cease to exist because they will realize they are us. They will realize that the blood they shed was their own.
Fred:
“Time! Fear you have 30 seconds for a rebuttal.”
Fear:
“Hog wash! Love doesn’t know what it’s talking about! There are good people in this world, and there are bad. We need to lock up, kill exterminate whatever we have to do to rid this world of the undesirables. It is only then that we might have a chance at the Utopia that only exists in the mind of Love.”
Fred:
“As everyone knows, my next question is to you Fear. Stress is the #1 killer today. How do you expect to rule without having Stress join the ticket as your running mate?”
Fear:
“I’ll have you know that Stress is a very good friend of mine, and I won’t sit back and listen to you malign Stress in any way! If it wasn’t for Stress, nobody would take vacations or days off. If it wasn’t for Stress, U.S. productivity would fall, and we would become a second class nation. It may be true that there may be some collateral damage to Stress. But you got to break a few eggs if you’re going to have an omelet.”
Fred:
“Love? A Rebuttal?
Love:
“I think it’s safe to say that too much of anything is bad for you. Stress is your body’s way of telling you it’s time to take a break. My question to you, the audience, is this: Do you really want to cast your vote for a candidate that thinks it’s alright for Stress to run you life?”
Fred:
“Fear, would you like to follow up?”
Fear:
“Thank you, Fred. Yes I would! Stress is nothing more than a road map. Without it, you would be lost. That’s all I have to say on the subject.”
Fred:
“O.K. It’s time for my final question, and I’d like each of you to take a stab at it.”
Fear:
“Sounds delightful!”
Fred:
“Fine, Fear. Then, we’ll start with you. What’s the point of life?”
Fear:
“That’s a great question Fred, and surprisingly a very easy one to answer. The point of life is to survive. Pure and simple. Most people will cut your throat just to watch you bleed. The goal to life is to get rich and powerful enough so you can be better than everyone else by any means possible. Then, when you’re done everything necessary to get to the top, you can build your castle and put up your electric fence to keep everyone away! The point of life is so simple; it’s just to survive as long as you can until they bury you six feet under. I didn’t invent this game, but I do know the only person I can truly trust in this world is myself!”
Fred:
“Love, the same question.”
Love:
“We are the point to life, you and I. The people’s lives we touch and those that touch us are what makes life worth living. Life isn’t about surviving; it’s about connecting. It’s about reaching out to new people and new experiences so we can better understand ourselves. The more we understand others the more we will understand who we are. I don’t know what lies on the other side of the door of life. However, since I don’t know—since none of us knows—doesn’t it make sense that we should be kinder and more grateful for the things we do have in our life instead of focusing on the things we don’t have or may lose? What’s life about? Life is about us. All of us. Not us and them.”
Fred:
“Thanks Love and Fear. That ends the Q&A portion of our debate, and since we’ve ran long, we only have time for a closing sound bite from each of you. Love, I’ll allow you to close. Fear, you can go first.”
Fear:
“Where there is darkness there is Fear. Closing your eyes to it like a child won’t make it go away. Embrace Fear and take control of your life!”
Fred:
“Love, the final statement is yours.”
Love:
“If there is darkness, turn the light on. Only by loving everyone without discrimination can you know the joy that is your soul.”
Fred:
That concludes our “You Bet Your Life” debate, and now it’s up to each and everyone of us. Who do we want to rule our lives? Love or Fear?

Story by:
By: Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®