by F.J. Gouldner © 2001

Each person was plummeting to the bottom of the ravine like lemmings off the edge of a cliff. They were instructed to run to the edge and jump while lifting their arms out to full wingspan.

An old wizard in a long, flowing, dirty white robe was telling each of them that they might be the one to succeed. That they might be the one to escape the fate of being crushed like a june bug at the bottom of the ravine. That if they believed hard enough they would be the first human being to fly.

The days turned into months and the months into years. The smell of death emanating from the canyon enveloped the entire valley. People continued to seek out the wizard, fall under his spell, and plummet to their deaths.

On a fine, clear morning atop the precipice somebody finally succeeded. A young man, about thirty years of age, went to the wizard and sat before him. After a short while of meditating with his eyes closed he stood, raised his arms to wingspan and soared off of the cliff, gliding above all of the death and destruction in the ravine below.

The man got up from his sitting position, faced the wizard and said: "Belief in oneself is the closest we can come to flying." With this, the wizard positioned himself on the edge of the precipice, raised his arms like an eagle would raise his wings, and plunged to his death with all of his disciples at the bottom of the ravine.

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