A few days ago I had a dream. It began in a market hall (those who don’t know, it’s like a market place, but put into in-door environment). This market hall had two floors - the first one serving as the actual market place, and the second one as a balcony, that circles the whole market hall. I was fooling around on the second floor balcony like a kid would, even though I’m actually a grown man. My child like actions caught me in trouble - while I was hanging off the edge of the balcony, a managed to drop something (don’t know exactly what) through one sealing of one booth, which happened to be made out of one huge glass panel. The panel shattered completely, covering the booth and all it’s goods in shards of glass. The owner of the booth - a middle aged woman selling berries, vegetables, mushrooms and other natural goods - came forth and declared, with a disappointed face, that I should pay for what I have done, and that we should change some information for insurances and such. My income is below average, so naturally this turn of events disturbed me, but never the less, I braced myself for everything that was to come.
But then, suddenly, I was in a spruce forest. The weather was cloudy, but otherwise, it was a warm summer day. I started running in the forest - feeling free from all the worries of everyday life. Then out of nowhere, a friend of mine joined me on my run. He asked me: “But what about the whole breaking-the-glass-ceiling -thing?” “Who cares?”, I replied, “We never exchanged information, so how I’m even supposed to find her? Or how is she going to find me?” Knowing very well, that I could find the booth lady simply by going back to her booth - but I choose not to, because secretly I was too worried about my financial well-being. After running for a while, I came to a small lake. I felt like swimming across it, so I took off all my clothes and started swimming. I had swam about 20 meter, when I suddenly felt a pull on my leg - it was a human hand, forcing me to stop swimming.
My force-full interceptor was a rough-looking middle aged man. He was very fit and strong for his age. The water was shallow enough to only reach my chest, so I stood up, facing the man’s stern expression. When he saw, that wasn’t going anywhere, he said: “Come back to the shore. I need to talk with you.” As I followed the man, I noticed that someone else was already waiting for us on the shore made out of solid bedrock - it was the booth lady. To my confusion, there was another person besides the booth lady: my mother. When we go the the shore, the stern-looking man asked me to sit down - and then, he started to talk.
The mans voice was fire and brimstone: he spoke ill of me and my generation, which “lacks empathy and doesn’t care about anyone or anything”. He also spoke ill of my mother for “raising such a disrespectful son”, which, in turn, made me very angry. This man basically knew nothing about me, my family, or my upbringing, and yet, he spoke to me as if I was the worst scum of the Earth. Finally my anger got the best of me and I shouted:
"I do care! I try to pull my weight in this world, but sometimes it’s very hard or even impossible! I try not to cause harm to anyone or my environment - I respect people and my surroundings by leaving them alone!"
At that moment, the man’s complexion changed. He became calm, and I could see his face turning from anger to compassion - a hint of sadness gleamed from his eyes. Then he started to speak again. It turned out, that the man was the booth lady’s husband, and that they are farmers and hunter-gatherers, which is their main source of income. Then he - the hunter - gave a heart-warmed speech about how he had seen people’s increasing greed and selfishness slowly destroying the earth, and it’s natural riches. To him, people were nothing but self-serving greed on wheels - a true cancer upon this celestial body we call planet Earth. I found the hunter’s word true, but somewhat naive - nihilistic even - so I said to him: “Most people are rather well informed about these things nowadays. They try to reduce wasteful behavior and actions that are bad for the Earth.” The hunter slowly shaked his head, and then he replied:
"Don’t you see: the world is full of people like you, who try to do good by not doing bad things. But how many of them actually do anything good?”
This is when the dream ended. That very moment of my awakening was rather a revealing one. The dream culminated into one idea which spoke to me on a personal level: every action - even inaction - has a consequence. I realized, that I’ve become one of those people the hunter talked about: mostly a passive non-destroyer who thinks, that it’s enough simply not to do bad things. I’ve also done some good things, but now I wonder, how much more good could I possibly do?