Echoes

No-one saw it coming.

The signs were all there, but nobody was paying attention. My friends, the only people I spoke to, were too busy looking at themselves to notice. I tried to warn them, but I was not heard above the rapturous echos. We listened only to ourselves. Until there was no-one left to speak. No-one saw it coming. That’s what we tell ourselves, at least, but it was all so obvious. The complete breakdown of a society doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a gradual process, something predictable.

When people ask why we did nothing to stop it, what would you tell them? Sorry, I was looking the other way. I didn’t think it was as bad as it was. We spent so long trying to reach the other side of the road, we failed to notice the oncoming traffic.

What could we have done? When the only voice you hear is your own, everything becomes a monologue. The voices speaking of reason had long been silenced. Inconvenient truths long ignored. Precious dissent quelled.
The sad truth is, no-one could do anything to stop it. Even those of us who saw it coming could only stand by and watch, powerless to intervene.

Society had been robbed of its power. This was the age of the individual. Our leaders, those with the power to protect us from harm, were taken by the same the same sickness. Like us, they too had stopped listening. When they spoke, it was in their own interests, and that was just the way they liked it. The blamed the others of course, which on the surface appeared reasonable.

It was inevitable. The complete collapse of western civilization, in the first half of the 21st century.

Am I angry? To an extent, but let me ask you a question. What would you have done? If it were to happen all over again, what would you do? How could you mitigate such a calamity? How could you protect yourself and those you love when everything you understand has collapsed? What if those you love were intent on destroying your world? What if they were convinced they were doing the right thing? What then?

It’s a shame to admit you wouldn’t have a chance. It’s a cop out, to stand by while the foundation of your understanding collapses around you.

Yet that’s what happened. It’s what we did, what we all did. And for what? A present that dimly resembled a fictitious past, which in turn created a hellish and chaotic future.

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