Mean, Mean, Mean

3 things to inspire 1 story written in 20 minutes. #story320
words/phrase provided by Dad

One of the oldest debates in history was that of the meaning of mean. For those that study such things, they theorize that something was lost in translation and originals no longer exist.

The confusion lay around the intended definition of the word “mean”. The sentence at the very end of the ancient script read “Discover mean.”

That first interpretation was that the author intended its readers to discover purpose, a reason for living. However, certain philosophers came along and proposed that mean was intended to be mathematical. That to spend time looking for purpose was a fool’s errand, like looking for air. An average, however, could be discovered. In other words they argued, you may not find a purpose but you can find what makes you happy, what makes you content. Discover that mean.

The two theories lived on in two different belief systems, mostly at peace but sometimes at war.

A third theory was introduced mostly from warring radicals on both sides of the two existing theories. Having seen and caused their fair share of violence they put forth the theory that “discover mean” was intended for all to find and root out evil. To slice out cancerous elements everywhere.

Of course, no one pointed out how comfortable the already violent ones were able to adopt this new violent belief. They felt justified in their acts, arguing it was all for the greater good.

In between these three theories were the jokes, sayings and philosophies that people knew but did not widely adopt or apply to their personal identities.

Some said the argument was as fruitless as the Protestant claim that Jesus dying on the cross had said “I tell you today, you shall be with me in paradise.”

A single comma split families, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.

So the meaning of the mean created division.

Only a few thought to ask who had written the script to begin with, where had it come from, what was the context for the rest of the piece.

The scrolls seemed to amount to an individuals notebook filled with records of inventory, lists of people and the odd bit of scribblings which included jokes, philosophical questions and the beginnings of stories.

My favorite theory is that humans tend to believe that our current times and understanding of humanity is the most advanced. But the human experience is the same. To quantify human experience, we’d arrive at the same mean now as in 800 AD. To search for purpose would be to arrive at the same mean. To be kind would be to defeat the same mean.

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