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The Little General -- a Story

Updated: Mar 11

An armada of different aircrafts.

Once upon a time, there was a minor warlord who dreamed of one day completing his goal in life: world domination and the annihilation of everyone and everything that dared stand in his way. He established a small but well-fortified empire in the darker parts of the globe. His troops, although few in number, were loyal to his command (and to the check they received every month).

It was hard to fully satisfy this little general.

Although he was small in size, he needed numerous meals and conquests in order to reach an optimal state that was at least close to ultimate satisfaction. He would raise taxes so he could afford more satiating meals, initiate surprise training for his troops on numerous occasions throughout the year, and made sure every newly-conquered land of his would be as fortified as financially and resourcefully possible, due to the hidden, yet disturbing fear of losing the new territories he and his army had worked so hard to conquer and overthrow the local, native governments.

But still, regardless of his numerous conquests across the globe, his empire remained small in size. He was competing with other warlords, who would sometimes clash with his army, and even gain larger quantities of land than him. This constantly frustrated him, regardless of his hard endeavors to take over the world.

Land after land, recruit after recruit, the life of a conqueror is not as glamorous as it first seems. It often feels like a job, and one of the worst kinds of jobs: a job that never ends, a job that gives you the illusion that you're making significant progress towards your end goal, but alas, the goal of ultimate power seems to remain far from sight.

One day was the little general's birthday, and for this occasion, a grand parade was planned. Countless regiments were stationed at the imperial capital, and plenty of devastating war machines were transferred to this central, bustling city, the nerve center of this empire.

The end of the parade was near, as the sun was about to set and be replaced by the void of the night and its stars. A local reporter, in that day's summarizing press conference, asked the supreme general how he would spend the remaining evening, and received a very surprising, yet controversial answer from him: he would conquer the very world he had sworn his entire lifetime to rule with an iron fist.

"But, sir… just how exactly are you going to do such a quest at the very little amount of time you have? Aren't you tired from all this day?" The reporter further inquired.

"I'm not tired," the general replied. "I'm just getting started."

"Of course I am tired, but I have waited long enough for this day to come! It is time to unleash my empire's ultimate weapon, my secret air fleet, constructed by my finest loyalists, and unleash it upon the world!"

And with a click of a button, the capital city suffered an intensive earthquake, as the surface-disguised panels across the empire's central region opened, shocking the media and locals alike, giving enough space for enormous naval-like airships to rise from the underground to the night's skies, awaiting the general's orders.

It seems that the general wasn't so little like initially believed.

The recently-appointed lieutenant, responsible for the naval airships and possibly the most loyal lieutenant in the general's empire, came to his presence and requested to be given orders for the operation of this secret weapon, hidden from the eyes of the world.

"Attack!" The general demanded.

"Uh.. sir, attack what?" The sub-commander asked in confusion.

"I don't care!" the general replied furiously. "This night will be where I shall be taking over the world, and I want these airships to bring the world to its knees before me. I do not care what it takes in order to do so, so I demand you to attack every piece of competition for world domination, at once! I have had enough with waiting, spending countless years of my life just to establish a small empire in the far corners of the globe. It's irrational and frustrating… annoying... exhausting… tiring... "

And alas, the hard-working, unsatisfied warlord collapsed on the floor in a mixture of extreme exhaustion and frustration, leaving his lieutenant in too much confusion to actually follow the order he was given. The general, after all, was using a metaphorical mask whenever he exited his residence to his nation, and thus his sudden collapse was too shocking, especially given that it was recorded live on the news!

Unfortunately for this small, nameless empire, the news was quickly delivered to the rest of the world, and in an emergency meeting, the world's leading empires have courageously created a coalition to counter-attack the little general and his air armada. Within a matter of hours, in a costly but efficient battle, the entire armada, one by one, has fallen both metaphorically and literally, initiating the deaths of many of the empire's residents, along with countless fires caused by the coalition.

When the general woke up from his unexpected collapse, the sun was shining in a cloudless sky – but his entire empire was literally destroyed by the many crashes of his former-secret weapon, and very few survivors were left from the destructive attack.

How ironic; the same declaration of world domination was the exact one of which led to the ultimate fall of its announcer, letting him live the rest of his life wandering aimlessly in a one big crash site, the location of a former empire.

Here are some additional thoughts on the story:

  • The general's ambition to conquer the world led to his downfall. He was so focused on achieving his goal that he didn't think about the consequences of his actions.

  • The general's lack of patience also contributed to his downfall. He wanted to conquer the world too quickly, and he didn't take the time to plan his attack carefully.

  • The general's arrogance also led to his downfall. He thought he was invincible, and he didn't consider the possibility that he could be defeated.

The story is a cautionary tale about the dangers of ambition, impatience, and arrogance. It shows that these qualities can lead to our downfall.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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