Word Count 500
The Best Prospect
By Mike Cecconi
What if I told you this life, this life that you’re living right now, is the best life you ever could’ve
lived? More to the point, what if I told you that you’re doing the most good you ever could have
done? Your life as it is, all your failures and your disappointments flecked with those occasional
short-lived simple joys, you are doing the most good you ever could have done. This small life
where you feel like a few people love you but no one has ever really heard the song of your soul
in fullest bloom, your endless troubles, the week-to-week paycheck blues, all the lost loves, your
squandered potential and all of your might’ve-beens, this is the best you could do for the world
because in the lives where you were confident, assured and took what you wanted, you were a
monster. The best you that you could’ve been laid waste to everything with its depth of ambition.
What if I picked up your hand and I traced the lines and I showed you that if you’d really taken
chances and put your needs first, you would’ve ended up a CEO with a mansion and a yacht and
you would’ve destroyed thirty-thousand lives a year with layoffs and pay-cuts and cut-rate health
care options? What if I showed you a world where you followed your bliss but when you got
there, when you followed that spiral all the way down, you ended up a serial killer?
Do you want to know about the chain of events where you were so certain you were right about
everything that you ended up president and were so stubborn in your convictions that you went
and pressed The Button and then six billion people died in atomic fire, just because you had to be
right no matter what? What if I show you the timeline where you weren’t any more “important”
than you are here, but you just let yourself “have more fun”, let yourself cut loose a bit more and
how you drunk-drove right into a limousine and killed eight teenagers on the night of their prom?
What if I told you the fact that you’ve suffered, you’ve held yourself back, stumbled over your
ambitions not wanting to hurt anyone just to improve your own prospect, what if I told you that
the fact that you are a tiny inconsequential failure who only knows happiness in isolated bursts
saved the world? You did, you know. You saved the day, running your own life into the ground.
If I told you all those things, if these things all were true, that your suppressed arrogance and lack
of accomplishment are all that stand between hope and horror, how would you feel? All that you
had to do was never really be fulfilled, never reach your potential and you would be humanity’s
greatest hero, even if only you and I know it. Would you take it all back to be a happy monster?