The Glass Pyramid

a story

Posted: 2023-09-12
Stats: 1243 words / ~6 minutes

There once was a magical glass pyramid.
It sat on top of a hill.
All were welcome to come and live in the glass pyramid.
All you had to do was follow the long and winding path up the hill.

Outside the pyramid, it was dangerous.
There were no houses.
There was no food.

Inside the pyramid, it was like a grand city.
Everyone had a job to do.
Some jobs, even though they were not difficult, were more important than others.
The important people lived at the very top of the pyramid and made all the decisions.
The important people knew best.

After a time, there were too many people in the pyramid.
The important people were upset.
There were too many people with less important jobs sharing their space.
That is not the way of the pyramid.
Something had to be done.

“We should make the pyramid bigger,” said one person.
“Amazing idea,” said another.
“But, that’s not fair!” said one of the important people.
“Why should I have to live near these less important people?” said another.
“Well,” said one of the most important people, “perhaps we should make it harder to get in as well.”

And so, a vote was held.
The higher you lived in the pyramid, the more your vote counted.

A fair and democratic solution was reached:
They would raise the ceiling of their magical glass pyramid, to make more space for important people.
And, each time they raised their glass ceiling, they would make their hill higher as well, to make it more difficult to get in.
This was called raising the glass floor.

A tall triangle on a hill

Eventually, the hill became a mountain.
And the pyramid became a needle that went high into the sky.
So high and close to the sun that it became very hot for the important people.
They blamed the less important people.
They told them it was their fault.

The least important people worked even harder:
They only ate local,
they recycled,
they spent their earnings on electric vehicles and solar panels,
they never used air conditioning or plastic straws.

They were told to lower their carbon footprint.
So they did.

They were told that everyone had to do their part.
So they did.

But…

The important people were not doing their part.
After all, it was not their fault.
They did what they wanted, when they wanted.
But, despite having everything they could possibly need,
they were still not happy.

They decided that it was still too easy to get in.
Raising the glass floor was not enough.
Some of the less important people had to go.

“These people have it too easy,” complained one of the important people.
“Maybe they shouldn’t even be in the pyramid,” said another.
And so, they came up with a plan.

They made things more expensive,
like food and houses and doctors and school.
The less important people worked harder and harder.
They even stopped having children.
No matter what they did though, it was not enough.
And this was the plan:
If you could not afford to live in the pyramid,
you had to leave.

After a time, it became so difficult to get into the pyramid,
and so hard to stay,
that there was nobody left to do the work that had to be done.
The important people had forgotten how to work.
They had forgotten how to make food and clean and build things.

Little by little, the pyramid started to crack.
People who used to be important became less important.
Some were even forced to leave.

The people outside the pyramid saw that something was wrong.
They shouted, “how can we help you!”
And the important people shouted back, “nobody wants to work any more!”
“Give us jobs, give us homes, let us help you!” clamoured the people outside the pyramid.
“NO,” shouted the important people, “you are not important enough to live in our pyramid!”

And as they slammed the door on the faces of those willing to help,
a crack began to form.
It started at the bottom.
The grew and grew, spreading higher and higher.
The people outside did not want the pyramid to fall,
it would crush them if it did.
So they all came together and tried to hold the pyramid up.

“Come down and help us,” the people outside cried.
“We only have one pyramid,” they pleaded.
But, the people inside were only interested in getting to the top.
They all climbed to the top floor instead of helping hold the pyramid together.
They were more afraid of the people outside getting in than they were of the crack.

All the important people reached the top of the pyramid.
They held a meeting to decide what to do.
“We just need to use the magic to fix the pyramid,” they said.
The most important person spoke up.
They controlled the magic.
They could fix everything in a snap.
They said, “I will do this for a price!”

The other important people thought this was fair,
but they did not want to spend their money.
“What if we asked the least important people to donate? It is their fault, isn’t it?” suggested someone.

A very famous and important person went down to see the people on the glass floor.
They were very emotional.
They spoke at length and finally asked the people at the bottom to donate their money.

The people at the bottom looked around at each other.
One of them began to chuckle.
And another.
And another.

A contagious laughter spread among the people at the bottom.
They could not stop.
They fell over laughing.
They laughed so hard the mountain began to shake.
The more the mountain shook, the more the pyramid wobbled.

The crack spread faster and faster.
“HELP US!” cried all the important people,
as they clutched their pearls and wallets.
“After all we did for you ungrateful people!” scolded one of them,
sipping champagne.
“Don’t you know who I am?” growled another,
sat in a rocket they had no idea how to fly.

The laughter and the shouting continued until a final crack echoed across the land.

The magical glass pyramid shattered and fell.

When the dust settled, the people at the bottom of the pyramid were relieved.
They had not been crushed.
They began fixing and rebuilding.
They made their homes, and schools, and hospitals.

Many months later, a group of people came climbing up the hill.
They stopped in awe of what they saw.
The pyramid was still standing.

These people were hungry and tired.
They wanted to bathe and sleep in beds.
They walked straight to the front door,
but their path was blocked.

“Unhand me, filth!” said one of the travellers to the person barring their way.
“I am a very important person, and you will let me pass.”
“Well,” started the person at the door, “you see, that is not how things work around here.”
“This is our magical pyramid,” explained the guard.
“If you want to get in, you need skills, you need to be able to work because everyone has a job to do!”

Alas, over the generations, the important people had forgotten how to work.
So they could not enter the pyramid.

Years passed, and the pyramid began to grow,
and the glass ceiling became further away,
and the glass floor went up with it,
and the story repeated itself,
again,
and again.

You can or contact me if you wish to comment or propose a correction.