The Year 2050

It was January 21st, 2050. Lilly burst through the front door brimming with excitement.
“Gran!” She exclaimed announcing her arrival.
“Hello Sweetheart, how was your day?” Lilly’s grandmother replied while placing another log on the fire and returning to her well worn recliner.
“It was great Gran, Mrs Harrison started teaching us today about the Great silent war of 2020. She told us a little bit about what happened but before she teaches us anymore she’s asked us to talk to our grandparents and understand what happened from the perspective of someone who was actually there.”
Lilly sat in front of the fire crossing her legs with anxious excitement and looked eagerly back at her Grandmother who was now sipping on her freshly made cup of tea.
“Gran, why haven’t you spoken about the silent war before?” Lilly asked
“Well Sweetheart, it was a challenging time for humanity and some things I haven’t felt comfortable to talk about, I guess I just wasn’t sure about when would be the right time and in the end I decided that the right time would be when you were old enough to ask the questions.”
“Gran, Mrs Harrison told us some things which are hard for me to understand or believe could be true. What was it like Gran? I want to understand, I want to know what the world was like back then.”
“Oh Sweetheart, beautiful child, how you have grown so quickly. I knew this day would come, yet in many ways it has arrived so much sooner than I expected. It was a different world back then Sweetheart, so different to the world we know now.”
“Gran, Mrs Harrison said that in those days people had been enslaved yet they had no chains to be seen, what does that mean?”
“I’m not sure where to begin Sweetheart, you see, in those days it was very different yet it was what people knew and were taught, so it was considered normal. We weren’t free like we are today Sweetie, the world was in great turmoil.”
“What do you mean Gran? What type of turmoil?”
“Well Sweetie, for as long as the world could remember we were taught two underlying things which in my mind created a world of madness. The first was that we were not good enough just as we were, and the second was that there wasn’t enough to go around.”
“Wasn’t enough of what Gran?” Lilly said, visibly confused.
“It was a belief Sweetheart, that we had to fight and compete with each other to get our share of everything. We didn’t work together in cooperation like we do now, we didn’t spend our days sharing and contributing our unique skills and passions with the community. In those days most of us worked by the sweat of our brow doing what we didn’t really enjoy so we could earn our daily bread and maybe the next thing we thought would make us feel better about ourselves.”
“But Gran, why did people think they weren’t good enough? Why did they think there wasn’t enough of everything for everyone, it’s hard for me to understand Gran, but I want to understand”
“Oh radiant child, you are indeed the glory of this new world. You see Sweetie, before the world was like it is now, the many were controlled by the few. The world had turned into a giant machine and it used the beauty of the world as it’s fuel. We produced and consumed evermore things we thought we needed to be good enough in the eyes of others. Our insecurities drove the demand which kept the machine growing. We had been taught that we must work as little cogs in this giant machine because only those who had money and influence over others were considered a success within that world. Most of us denied our heart, we denied our passions, we denied our gifts, we buried our dreams to take up our position within the giant machine because that’s what we’d all been taught to do.”
“So Gran did no-one do what made them happy?”
“Some did Sweetheart, but if it didn’t make a lot of money it was considered not to be of value.”
“But I don’t understand, how could one person’s gifts and contributions be considered more valuable than anyone else’s?”
“Sweetheart, your value was often considered by the degree to which you supported the giant machine and its continual expansion.”
“Gran I think I’m starting to see how the people had become like slaves.”
“Yes Sweetheart, but you see that was what we knew and it was considered normal, so most of us didn’t know we had been enslaved, we didn’t know there was a different way to live.”
“So what happened in 2020 Gran? Why is it called the Great Silent War?”
“Well Sweetie, it wasn’t like the wars you’ve read about, it wasn’t like the war that my Grandaddy fought in. The Silent War was being fought behind the curtains of the great stage. It was a war of information, a war of perception. On one side there was the creators and controllers of the machine which wished to further enslave the people and then there were those of the people that wanted to reclaim their freedom and give their brothers the same opportunity, there was the desire to build a new world.”
“But Gran how could the people be any more enslaved than it sounds like they already were?”
“Sweetheart, there are degrees to freedom in the greater sense of the word, however our true freedom is not dependant on our environment, it is not determined by what we are given nor from what is withheld, it is something we claim within ourselves, and once embodied and embraced it can not be taken, only surrendered. We could be imprisoned, ridiculed, condemned, even murdered, yet Sweetie we can be those things knowing that our final freedom lies in determining what those things mean to us, this is the freedom of thought, our final freedom. Sweetheart those who controlled the machine wished for the people to eventually surrender their final, their true freedom, and that was their freedom of thought.”
“But Gran, why would anyone be willing to surrender their freedom? I’m sorry Gran I just can’t understand.”
“Oh child, beautiful child, I love that you struggle to understand the ways of the past, for we have come so far and it brings me great joy seeing you grow up in the new world we know. We had lost sight of our own glory Sweetheart, we knew not of our own power in those days. We had allowed our brains to be triggered in the ways of our animal heritage and through that primal survival instinct we could be controlled. When we allowed ourselves to be afraid we acted in very predictable ways and could be manipulated very easily, just like the animals in the field.”
“Why were you afraid Gran? What was there to be afraid of?”
“Well Sweetheart, remember we had lost a sense of our own glory and the power of who we were. We were raised to be afraid, afraid of not being good enough, afraid of not having enough, but we were also raised to be afraid of each other?”
“Why would you be afraid of each other Gran?”
“Well Sweetie, let me explain it this way… you know the people of Westshire don’t you?”
“Yes of course Gran.”
“And What do you think of them Lilly?”
“Well what do you mean? They are beautiful people and are always helping us and we them, I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Well Sweetheart, do you think any of the people of Westshire have ever been angry or frustrated or upset?”
“I guess so.”
“Well what if you’d never met them and each day people came to our town and told us stories about them and showed us pictures of them and recordings of them but only told us and showed us the occasions that they were angry or frustrated or upset, how would they look to us?”
“Well that’s not fair Gran, oh…I think I might be starting to understand, please go on.”
“And what if those same people went to Westshire and told them stories about us in the same light? Soon we would become afraid of Westshire and they of us, and we might want to put fences around our community. So you see beautiful child, those who can control perception control emotion, and those that can manipulate emotion into fear can control behavior because in a state of fear we become very predictable.”
“I understand Gran, I really do.”
“So you see Sweetie, we allowed ourselves to be turned against each other, Man against Woman, Community against community, religion against religion, race against face, neighbour against neighbour, brother against brother. We didn’t need someone to imprison us between giant walls, in a state of fear we built them ourselves.”
“So are you saying that those who controlled the machine also controlled people’s perceptions?”
“Indeed beautiful child, this is how it was.”
“Why did people allow themselves to be manipulated into such fear?”
“You see Sweetie, we trusted those that reported the message, those that created the perception… we had all grown up believing that the message could be trusted. We were all too busy tilling the field by the sweat of our brow to question that which we were told. We felt safe thinking the same as everyone else.”
“What was the reason Gran, I mean, what was the point of making people afraid of each other?”
“It is an ancient strategy of control Sweetie, and has been used since time immemorial, it is known as ‘divide and conquer’. Think of the world we know now, we are strong because we work together for the good of all, we are strong when we unite and we are weak when we are divided, we are weak when we are afraid.”
“So Gran, I do understand what you are saying now, but what happened in 2020?”
“Well Sweetie, the beginning of the 21st century was a very pivotal time in our history, I would say the most pivotal. Many people were starting to question the message they had grown up believing, they were starting to realise they were being manipulated and they didn’t want their whole life to be no more than a little cog in this giant machine, destroying the beauty of the world and the happiness of the people.”
“Oh Gran I so want to hear how we went from that world to this one.”
“Well Sweetie, those that control the machine needed to try and gain greater control over the people to make sure they didn’t rebel against the machine, so they set a plague across the lands and while it wasn’t as deadly as they had hoped, they created a message which brought great fear and panic to the people. Countries were shut down, businesses were closed and people were told to stay in their homes and not come out. Our minds were overrun by fear, we had become scared of our own family members if they should even sneeze.”
“Why would someone do such a thing Gran?”
“Only God really knows Sweetheart, but we can look back through the lens of history and do our best to explain. It was ultimately about gaining more control over us and having us willingly surrender more of our freedom. You see Sweetie, firstly the plague was designed to cripple us in fear because when we are afraid, many would rather trade their freedom for percieved safety. So these events were created, as many before them had also been, so that we would become very afraid and then when a so called solution was presented to us it would always come at the cost of more freedoms, yet we were so focused on the pursuit towards imagined safety and away from fear, we would run to the gates in order to allow the trojan horse to enter, never realising it was to our own peril, do you understand Sweetheart?”
“Yes Gran, we learnt about the great battles and the trojan horse, I understand.”
“This great plague Sweetie, was not only designed to elicit the surrendering of more freedoms from the people, but it was also designed to bring a great financial depression upon the whole world.”
“But Gran, why would those who control the machine damage their own machine?”
“My my, what an insightful question dear one. Well Sweetie, we all felt like we needed the machine, we didn’t know what it was like to look after ourselves anymore, most of us didn’t know how to grow a vegetable or bake a loaf of bread. When the people are not able to buy the things that they need to live they become not only afraid but a feeling of great dependency and hopelessness comes upon them.”
“And what does that mean Gran?”
“Well Sweetie, it means that when we are preoccupied with earning our daily bread, challenging the machine simply is no longer a focus or a priority.”
“Oh I see what you mean Gran, so what happened? What did you do?”
“Do you remember Sweetheart, when I said that we are very predictable when we are afraid?”
“Yes Gran.”
“Well we are Sweetie, but what’s unpredictable is the human spirit, for the essence of that is not fear but love and creativity, and when in that state, the mind as we all know now, brings forth the unknown, the unpredictable, the inspired. And so while we were initially in our homes very afraid, many of us for the first time had been forcefully ejected out of the machine. Many of us had more time to explore our own minds, to contemplate, to dream, we discovered new interests and passions, we learnt new things, we played games with our children like we never had, we went for walks and began to appreciate the simple things. As a people we started to collectively question the machine, we were shown in the eye of that storm that there was another way to live. That Sweetie, was the beginning of the new world we know and love today.”
“But Gran what about all the fear, what about the unknown, what about the message that controlled everyone?”
“Easy dear one, I will explain. This change took time because the old world was all we had ever known, most had taught their children to serve the machine as we had been taught to serve the machine, we had spent our whole lives doing this you see. To question this message, to question the machine, was to question everything we knew, everything we had been taught, everything we had taught, it was to question everything we had worked for, it was to question who we knew ourselves to be as a person, all our values, our beliefs, everything.”
“Did people want to do that?”
“It took great courage Sweetie, many did for the lure of freedom is strong, and the ability to live a life where they could freely express that freedom was enough to overcome the fear of the unknown. Initially though many weren’t ready to give up the old ways.”
“You mean they wanted to remain enslaved to the machine?”
“Yes Sweetie, but you must understand that was okay, for in the choosing they had expressed their freedom.”
“I’m sorry Gran I don’t understand.”
“Well Sweetheart, when you are truly imprisoned you have no freedom of thought, your thought has been manipulated and controlled to such an extent that you simply don’t realise there is a choice. In other words Sweetie, freedom of thought is like a beautiful seed within us which can flourish and grow into anything we can imagine. However, if we surround it with concrete it’s unlikely the seed will get a chance to grow.”
“Gran, Did those who wanted freedom help others to see there was a choice?”
“Yes Sweetie, but to force freedom on another is to become another tyrant. Those who were rising up in their freedom against tyranny wanted to inform their brothers that the message they had always been given was not the only message. The idea was to lay as much dirt and water at the feet of their brothers so that they could see there existed a choice, and the moment someone realised there was a choice they dropped their seed of freedom into their own mind and from there it was for them to do as they wished, that dear child is the beauty of free will, the glory of freedom.”
“And so what happened then Gran?”
“Well Sweetie a thread on the old world had been pulled, and it began to progressively unravel. The lies we had been told were revealed and it was very painful for us to know these things. Those who had committed unspeakable crimes in an attempt to control and enslave us were held to account for what they had done and the old world fell.”
“So the people rose up?”
“Yes beautiful, the people rose up in their freedom and began to build a new world, there were many trials and it was a hard road, yet that new world is the one we all enjoy today.”
“Thank you Gran, I love you so much, I’m so grateful to you and all those people for what they did because it must have been so hard.”
“Oh Sweetie, I love you, it was our honour and our duty to rise up in the glory of who we were, who we are, and who we will forever be.”

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