Let me give you a hypothetical: What if…people one day started to shrink?
Seriously, consider that for a moment. How would they shrink? Who would be shrunken and who wouldn’t? How many are shrunken? How many are not shrunken, if any? What would their relationship be; that is, if there was any in the first place? How would this affect our culture, our governments, our way of life? Think on that for a moment, I can wait.
…Done? I hope so. I’m sure as hell not waiting anymore.
I don’t really need to ask what sort of stuff crossed your mind; it’s obvious really. Naturally those who wouldn’t shrink would take things over and preserve our way of life. Shrinking is an epidemic sure, but changing our way of life would take something a bit more cataclysmic than that. But that still leaves the question about what to do with the shrunken people.
I could probably toy around with letting you think some more on it but if it wasn’t already clear I’m not exactly a patient guy so I’ll skip a few steps if you don’t mind. Hypothetically, what if all the people who shrank were bad? All those who were tiny were either bad or immoral people and the ones large and in charge would be the kind, pure-hearted types.
Surprised? I would be. This little detail flips the whole thing on its head doesn’t it? Suddenly these afflicted people who looked like victims suddenly got a little less sympathetic huh? It’s a little hard to feel sympathy if something like this happened to a bad person.
Hmm… Maybe I should elaborate more instead of just saying bad. Let’s see…think of these shrunken victims as all the negative people in society. IE: Criminals, Corrupt Officials, Bullies…You know, stuff like that. And imagine their size in relation to how bad they really are. After all, a school yard bully may be a real pain in the ass but he has nothing on a serial killer. No reason they should be punished the same.
In this instance let’s say the bully shrank to about….Oh let’s say two feet tall. Still human-sized, albeit pretty short. If that was the case then the serial killer would be somewhere around the size of a grain of rice. Kind of a big difference isn’t there?
Now, with this in mind, let’s explore this hypothetical a bit. All the good people are in charge and all the bad people are literally helpless to do anything. What then?
Well first things would be hectic right? No one knows what happened and suddenly people are shrinking. There’s fear, panic, maybe even some hysteria. Then some time passes and people start to notice the patterns, like how an entire small town of nice people was untouched while an entire prison was shrunken. Little oddities like that.
Once people start putting the pieces together and calm down they then need to rebuild don’t they? They start to fill in the gaps left by all the shrunken people and, what do you know, suddenly things are running a lot more smoothly. Take out the elements of corruption and immorality and surprisingly enough things could go better than you hope. Society not only bounces back but it’s now better than ever.
Ah but what about our shrunken victims hmm? Everything’s back on track but it wouldn’t do for our kind-hearted giants to leave them to fend for themselves. But they are bad people so what to do? Prison could hypothetically work but many of these shrunken people weren’t incarcerated. Putting them in prison just for having the misfortune of being immoral enough to shrink would just be inhumane. Perhaps a settlement? Give them their own little city in someone’s backyard? An easy solution, but something about a town full of immoral people just seems like a bad idea to me.
Any ideas on your end? I already know how things play out but I’m curious what you come up with.
It’s definitely a complicated problem, probably even moreso since both sides are so clearly defined as black and white. Though the solution people finally arrived at was actually pretty simple: Simple coexistence.
Now, obviously both sides need to coexist on some level. What I mean is that people of different sizes start living together and helping each other out. Normal-sized people live out their normal-sized lives and take care of those shrunken and in return the shrunken ones contribute in any way they can. If they’re smart then maybe they can be teachers or accountants. If they’re skilled perhaps they could put their craft to use on a much smaller level. And if all else fails you could be put to work doing manual labor.
But what kind of labor?
Now that’s an easy one. Since their size prohibits most actual labor duties then shouldn’t their job be to help out whoever’s helping to care for them in any way they can? This can range from any number of things, from fetching little tools to helping clean hard to get areas to even something as simple as a massage.
This should sound a little familiar, it’s basically servitude. If you don’t have any useful skills as a shrunken person then you were just expected to work as a slave. You work and in return you are given a place to rest and food to eat. Oh, but it isn’t enslavement because these people are good, and the tiny people are bad. They only have themselves to blame so maybe it’s more like…community service.
That right there is the mindset of the regular people in this situation. Because these people are bad and I am good this makes it okay.
Kind of sick right? But that’s just how it is. It’s far from a perfect system but in time it’ll get honed into what’ll end up being the new standards of living. The next few generations of children will grow up alongside people of mixed sizes and their actions will help shape things up for the future.
By now it’s probably obvious but I’ll point it out anyway. This isn’t a hypothetical. What I just gave you was a rushed, probably bastardized, summary of a few years when people first began to shrink. And the next generation bit I mentioned a moment ago? I’m a part of that. I’m a child born in this world I described.
When it’s all you know you really don’t think much of it. I mean, if you have the luxury of not shrinking then it really is no concern to you whether or not it’s a good thing. If it doesn’t affect you why worry right? So long as you were a good person all is well. If you ever became bad then the world would punish you. Aside from a few threats about how I’d be an ant if I ever acted up I had a pretty normal childhood. In fact it was pretty fucking great. I mean, it wasn’t a perfect world, but it was pretty nice.
But that’s just from me as a normal-sized person. The general consensus is that the smaller you are the worse of a person you are inside. True or not that’s accepted as fact. As a general rule, people weren’t too friendly to someone under six inches tall. Cordial sure, but they never seemed particularly fond of them. But I guess that’s the prejudice that’s born when size becomes a symbol of morality. Though I’ll be damned if it didn’t seem skewed in some ways. I know some really swell guys who one day woke up a foot tall and on the flipside I know some real pieces of work who are over six-feet tall. Maybe you can be a really crappy person but be good at heart or something? Who knows.
Actually, that phrase really does describe a lot of this now that I think about it. Why did people shrink? Who knows? Why does it only seem to affect based on your general morality? Who knows? Is it okay to act based on that idea? Who. Knows.
Now then, let me give you another hypothetical. In this world, what if a person shrank who wasn’t bad? What then? For that person, I can’t really imagine it would go well. No matter what people thought of them beforehand, the social stigma of size alone would override damn-near anything this person could say after they shrank. He would be shafted into the lower rungs of society on the assumption he was a shitty person and likely end up a servant for some giant person.
Kind of a scary thought right? Well let’s keep going. What if this person had a really good life? What if this person was well-regarded and had a bright future ahead of them? What if you knew them beforehand?
What if…It was me?
I should probably start with…Ah! I’m sorry. How rude of me. I started rambling but I never properly introduced myself did I? My name is Rob, and this is the story of how I became my bestfriend’s pet.