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Rated: ASR · Fiction · Philosophy · #2178674
A probably fictional non-fictional commentary on how one man's view can change the world
[Plot Support Contest: This story is about a scientific/philosophical theory that every rule or tradition or norm in the world is created by one person's personal viewpoint]

Here's the thing. I have been thinking a lot of about this lately. Every tradition, every formality, and every "rule" in our lives, may have just passed on due to one person's inconvenience.

Let me explain with a scaled-down example first. Me and my friends used to play cricket (you don't need to know the rules, I'll explain them enough as we go) everyday on our terrace. Think of cricket like baseball, but instead of striking out if you miss three pitches, there is a blockade between the catcher and the batter and if the ball hits that, he's gone. Once when we were playing, one of our friends, he was on 44 (aka the amount of runs he scored). He was 6 runs away from a half-century (50 runs). I bowled the ball, it bounced (yes one bounce is allowed and is pretty usual in cricket) just an inch in front of the blockade (stumps) and hit it. He was gone for the day. He was gone on 44. That day he said, "We should make a new rule. If the ball bounces a few inches away from the stumps and hits it, it should be deemed NOT OUT. It is really hard to play that ball in this small place when it is bowled that close to the stumps." We agreed to that because it seemed like a logical point. To our dismay, we didn't know until the next match, that pitching the ball in front of his stumps (aka yorker) was his weakness.

In the next match, we were bowling to him and he was scoring. Due to the condition imposed by him, we were stuck in two minds - 1) If we bowled a yorker, we will be able to stop him from scoring but we are not going to get his wicket and 2) If we bowl anything other than a yorker, there is a chance that we may get his wicket, but he will be scoring a lot of runs. In his mind, the only thing that is running is, "They won't bowl a yorker, which means they won't get to stop me." and that said, he scored 164 runs in that match before we were lucky and had an inside edge onto the stumps. This continue for 6 years, and then there were new tenants who were occupying specific portions on our house and their kids wanted to play cricket with us. We explained them the rules, including the rule that if the ball bounces few inches before the stumps, it is deemed NOT OUT. We moved houses and it has been 2 years since we did. A couple of weeks back, I went to that house and was playing with the people living there. Since they knew me, there was no rule explanation about the rules, etc. and we just started playing. They bowled a yorker and they got my wicket. I was disappointed but they weren't celebrating, and they continued going to their positions. "What happened?", I asked, and they said that it was NOT OUT since the ball bounced close of the stumps. I was surprised.

A dumb rule, created based on one person's weakness, after 10 years, is still treated as a norm. This got me thinking - what if every social norm was created based on one person's opinion on an issue? I am not saying that all of them are bad. Some of them are great. For example, customizing restaurant orders. One day one person decide that he wanted sweet onion sauce and cheddar instead of Caesar sauce and Parmesan cheese on his Chicken Caesar Wrap and the restaurant this happened in allowed it. One person's decision made a small society (a restaurant in this case) change their viewpoint and do something they have never done before. This spread and spread, and now most of the restaurants in the world do custom orders on-the-go.

But what about the other extremity? Imagine a man, working hard everyday - sitting under a tree to avoid the sunlight and rain. He works hard for a few years and his routine is the same. Wakes up in the morning, has his breakfast, goes to his spot, rests his back on the trunk of the tree, studies for eight hours straight, goes home - rinse and repeat for years. One day he achieves whatever he is going for, and goes to a different place to work in what he studied for. Let's say one person looked at this situation from a mile away, and all he could see was a man under a tree for a few years before he succeeded. He orders his kid to go to the tree and study there. He succeeds and the circle of people recommending the tree goes on for decades. At this point, barring a people who did their work under the tree, everyone else thinks that the tree is responsible for their success. Therefore after a few decades, we have come to a point where people overestimate the importance of a tree by underestimating the work of the specific person under it. In one of those days, a person who studied under the tree did not succeed. What happens then? The person is called out for not being worthy to be under the "blessing" of that tree. He becomes an outcast. He gets absolutely pissed and goes into a cave where he does his work and he succeeds. A person watching from a mile away sees a man going into a cave everyday, and he orders his kid to do his work in the cave. This repeats and repeats, and importance is placed on objects rather than people. The tree was a place at first, then it became a deity, and more people starting believing in it, and it formed a religion. Someone who didn't fit to the parameters of that "religion" was thrown out, and now the cave was a place, a deity, and then a religion, and that continues till the first outcast and things go back full circle again.

In this circle, we went from doing our own work and crediting no-one but ourselves to it, to crediting a deity for their help in your success, and in the worst case,you go to that cave everyday and do nothing, depleting your time till death and waiting for magic to happen.
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