Before the moment of discord, the old ones rejoice. They delight in the tribulations of the young, never acknowledging that this is what causes the loss of power. The one thing the elders had is experience through hardship.
Once discord affects the young, the elders no longer have that foothold. But for the moment, they delight in the uncertainties and anguish while reclining on red-velvet cushions they may or may not have earned. The fact that they have them is enough. And it is enough for anyone.
They are training the young ones to look down on the future generation, to inspire fear and distrust so the future generation will make something of itself, which only turns out to be a world of comfort for the old ones.
But not all the old ones are so fortunate. The old ones who rebelled as young ones. Who did not play the game, those starve. And sometimes, the ones who did play the game starve as well. There is no guarantee that one will ever attain the status of a rejoicing old one sowing discord.
Sometimes, ones who didn’t play the game arrive at the coveted title. It is sheer happenstance and luck which determines one’s position. So the old ones, on their deathbeds, sometimes let the secret slip that no one has to play the game.
The outcome is final for everyone, and the un-fillable hole given as a birthright to the young, can be abandoned at will at any time. While the ladder of social-life and property-acquisition feels secure, it is a tower of upright dominos. Those climbing it are ruled by fear. They recline in their leather seats and cling onto them like vines dangling from a precipice over a sea of hungry lions.
This sea of hungry lions is the scorn heaped upon the unsuccessful. You didn’t play the game, tut tut. Enjoy being the food of lions, they say, from the safety of the mouth of an even bigger beast, clutching its enormous teeth which act as bars on the prison but appear to be securely rigged to the Earth.
There is no comfort for those who are forsaken by life itself, and there is no way to avoid it should it seek you. And the successful will always congratulate themselves, while the eaten will always blame others. The truth is, there is no one to blame. This is the real discord. A swirling madness that no mathematics can predict or explain.
The old ones may catch a glimpse of this near the end of their lives, but this is not what people want to hear from one who is dying. They want to hear things that reinforce the egos of the living. ‘I love you, I approve of you. I forgive you’. Even if the old ones were honest, no one would listen. No one wants to be by the bed of the dying and hear the words ‘none of it means anything.’