The Social Illusion of The Caste – A Short Story Essay

      As a teenager, I learned one thing early on in life.  Through a misconstrued idealism of optimism as a child, I learned the idealism of expecting the worst and hoping for the best.  The truth is, life for me was not a cakewalk as adversity has been an early acquaintance that I began to get familiar with exceptionally well.   People looked at this idealism of being negative and, early on in my journey, taking things extraordinarily personal and, in the end, always having the best interest of someone else in hand.  When given this advice.  Which was still a hard thing to see happen in real-time.  Which was something I was taught early on in age.  Which was “you won’t know what they are truly going through until it happens to you.”

      One of the most disturbing things is the absence of empathy.  Furthermore, it’s much more disturbing to see people use the act of compassion to get ahead in life, which is why I see why people have desensitized themselves to the feeling of empathy.  But one thing is that showing kindness comes in various forms, not only in the form of materialized gifts. Compassion comes in giving moral support or only showing up.  But we are always taught the quick way of getting out of feeling the guilt when we don’t extend the hand of philanthropy.   Giving those what they are asking for is the easiest way to feel less like a shitty person.  And giving away the unwanted or unused things deemed necessary to do their part in many cases things that can no longer be salvaged for use by dropping them off at the nearest donor station.  But the thing that never seems to be given is the chance, opportunity, and hope to be given a fair chance that never occurs.  Because of skin color, the families they were born into, or even the background that pumps through their veins.  By the belittling mentality that they are not one of us.  Because of the cards that life has thrown at them.  

      Optimism can be a fickle friend as most people weigh their value on the items they accrued in a life those same people struggle to find meaning.  Those without it don’t realize that the things afforded are only a temporary badge of respect after it’s all lost.  Convincing themselves that if they had materialistic rewards.  Life would be far more comfortable.  Not taking into account the fake friends that only come around when you have a bounty on your head.  Being wealthy to me appears that way as those whole in your face and snarl behind your back.  Await the day in the celebratory embrace, the moment you get knocked off from grace.  Keeping those trapped of finding ways to secure that place in class going against your own free will.  Betting that they will never feel the growing pains of the ordinary world.  Using the fake empathy in many cases of holding that place by those they swing blindly with no recollection of the feeling.  And no desire to personally associate with those they see on the bottom.  All in the sake of securing their place with the idealism of forever.  With the cruel fate that luck and karma will now bring.  If not in this life, but lifetimes after. 

      Putting your value in the materialized gained of one’s lucky fortune is by all means, in my opinion, the most degrading thing one can do in self-sabotage.  When luck runs out, and there is nothing left, the self-worth that was confided in the act of relying on the fortunes attained becomes blown away.  Leaving those with nothing left, not even themselves.  Putting all the chips in on the cards that were convinced would always be the lucky hand, where life becomes a gamble in a game of chance.  Where optimism was nothing more than pride and arrogance in the idealism that things will never change.  Those continuing the journey, finding ways to rejoin the ranks.  This may explain why people tend to move geographically to taste still a glimmer of what once was.  To fulfill an emptiness that the luxuries of the material can only suffice.  Losing a bit of their humanity in the process of gaining and securing all that was once lost.  With nothing left. But a failed perception, becoming wicked and cruel for self-righteous idealisms and intent. Doing everything they can to secure that feeling of what was once luxury.  And forgetting the simple act of gratitude while they lick the wounds of the things that were lost—becoming predatory in a sense—finding the most naïve and optimistic person that they can discard as they once were in their moment of fallen grace.  Driven by the demons of fear and greed.   Going back on their promises that they swore would be the return that chance and life invested in them. 

      I ended up thinking about a moment that almost everyone can relate to.  After a nightmare, I had that just made me think deeper about the human condition.  Do you recall that time in school where you were the center of negative attention?  Which was caused by a rumor or by who you were?  And that feeling of fear and loneliness ends up overcoming your everyday existence because no matter what you say or do in the most catastrophic situation.  People have already made a judgment of who you become.  And the only way to escape is to start a new. It made me realize this isn’t an experience that is also neither created equally.  As in these days, we become conditioned to leave that life behind.  It becomes the everyday existence of those segregated by personal opinion on what people assume to be in stereotyping, which faces discrimination. Live this life by those who belittle those for who they are.  Which regardless of where you go, become a victim of this treatment.  When you served your temporary purpose.  Which becomes one of the most upsetting phenomena in sociology.

      Fear mutes us from the possibility for a better tomorrow.  Convincing ourselves that there is only one way to get to the top.   Which, in essence, becomes the proverbial rat race.   Which has us turning our backs on who we indeed are.  Submerging ourselves into the belittling persona and idealism that our roots aren’t anything.  Surrendering ourselves and betraying where we were born.  All for the sake of being noticed and being seen.  Forgetting that we become accessories of entertainment from those who look down upon us.  Convincing ourselves in the lie that we finally have been accepted and the aspirations of what can potentially come.  The rewards per se.  Only to see that all the work goes to waste, and all we have in this newfound journey is ourselves.  Already beaten by the reality of how it is.  Crawling back into our cave of playing in safe and turning our backs on ourselves.  As we become the most prominent critics of things, we begin to believe.  “You are nothing” is a common truth that we begin to feel.  While many begin to make amends and start to build from the ground up for a better future.  While those stuck in idealism are fair to begin to find the next highest ranking caste group.  In hopes of climbing back to the top.

Published by Frieda Lopez at Frieda the Writer

Frieda López is the writer for Journey of an Unraveled Road who was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. Through her professional career in Customer Relations and Retail Management, she has utilized her experience and interactions with the behavioral patterns, which was used to start her personal journey with Journey of A Unraveled Road as her debut novel. She has completed philosophy, psychology, and theology courses at San Antonio College as well as creative writing courses. Frieda López has been a lifelong writer since 2nd grade. A survivor of childhood trauma, childhood abuse, and domestic violence, she wrote this piece, which started this book as her personal journey; works from home in San Antonio, TX.

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