Saturday, March 13, 2010

Parable of the Man Who Wanted to Die

There was a man who wanted to die. Life was so bad for him that he just didn't want to live anymore--he dreamed about dying all the time. If he were dead, he thought, he'd be free at last, free at last! He wanted to die for his country, even though he really didn't have a country--he wanted to die for his so called country, the country that had enslaved him and his brothers around the earth.

Since he wanted to die so bad, the ruler of the country said to him, "Come here, boy, I want you to go kill your brother--here is a dollar--hurry, go across the street and kill your brother for me. Here is the gun and plenty bullets, if you need anymore, just let me know. Oh, here, don't forget your dollar. Now don't worry, if you die you'll go to heaven where you can eat pie in the sky."

"Thank you," said the man who wanted to die, and he hurried across the street to his brother's house. He knocked on his brother's door. Who is it, his brother said.

It is I, said the dying man. I have come to kill you--please open the door.

You must be a fool, said the brother. Get away from my door, if you have come to kill me. Anyway, why do you want to kill me, I'm your brother, I haven't done anything to you. Why do you want to kill me?

Because I have to eat. I need the money I'll get for killing you.

Well, said the brother, I'm sorry you're so desperate, but if you come into my house, I'm going to kill you first, since you are tyring to kill me. But look, brother, I do not want to kill you. We should get together and kill the man who sent you. I know why he sent you, because I won't let him in my house anymore. I will no longer buy what he has to sell, so he is angry. Yes, brother, we should get together and kill the man who sent you. Why fight me, your brother, for your enemy?

But he gave me an order, so I must kill you. If you kill me, I don't mind dying. I ain't doing nothing anyway.

Well, said the brother, if you want to die, die for something, don't die for nothing. Die for the people--do not die for the enemy of the people. To die for the enemy of the people is lighter than a feather. But you must not think of dying, enough of our people have died already. You must think of living, not dying, think of living. You want to go to heaven? Brother, heaven is a condition of life not death--death is a slave's way to heaven. We are men, brother, not slaves.

Put your gun down and come into my house--we must get an understanding so that we can fight the real enemy.

The dying man put down his gun and went into his brother's house. When he came out, he was ready to fight the real enemy--he was ready to live!

--Marvin X

Black World Magazine, June, 1970. Also published in Woman, Man's Best Friend, by El Muhajir/Marvin X, Al Kitab Sudan Press, 1973.

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