When I was young and foolish, I kept falling into ditches, into infinite wells of nothingness, where no one can save and pull me up. From the immeasurable height below I usually saw a faint dot of light, and the occasional figure temporarily plunging me into total darkness. But a few moments later I would see it again, because the figure has moved on, perhaps to more fruitful ventures and important places. Nobody can hear my cries for help, for salvation, for pity, and I cannot blame them. One time nobody heard me over a year, and so I remained there in solitude.
Over time I got used to the darkness, and it kept me company. It showed me what it had to offer, things that have been hiding from the light ever since. I saw untold riches, immense power, and talents. A voice cloaked in inky blackness told me that all will be mine if only I embraced the darkness and remained where I was, and then said that he will return the next day for my decision. Of course, I thought about it. Getting everything for merely doing nothing seems like a deal is incredibly skewed in my favour. I would be stupid, I thought, if I refused it. And so I stayed there, turning the offer over and over in my head. Nothing seemed to be wrong, and it did not seem to me like a Faustian bargain. I began waiting for the figure’s arrival to tell him my acceptance of his offer.
However, something made me look up.
I saw the faint dot of light vanish for a few moments, and gradually it grew larger. Hands – were those hands? – were shoveling away dirt, and I was momentarily blinded by the light. When I had recovered, I looked around me, and I saw nothing but dirt. The stones I thought were precious were in reality sharp splinters. The figure was nowhere to be found at the appointed time, but I swear that I saw two eyes of fiery sulfur in the darkness. I looked up, and found that the pit of despair was not as deep as I thought. The light showed me the folly and deceit of darkness and ignorance.
With the help of a few hands that reached out I pulled myself up and out, finally ridding myself of the ditch. When I had adjusted to the light I have not seen for a year, I saw the people behind the hands that saved me – family, friends, and strangers who were kind enough to help. I could not thank them enough. Without them, I would have been wallowing in filth and darkness today, and I would not have seen the light and its beauty.