The Lesson of a Stormy Day

They say there are some things you can only learn in a storm, such as figuring out who truly cares for you - since anyone can love you on a sunny day. Wrong. A wise one can learn the same on a regular sunny day too. However it isn't as easy as it seems because things are never as obvious one would prefer. The only thing that is clear - nobody actually wants you to succeed. In any highly competitive society, the tall poppy syndrome is a given. The toxicity in such a collective mentality yields afflicted zombies more terrifying than any Pokemon Go hordes you may face off on the streets lately. 

These abominations are unable to differentiate between public and private, work and personal. Their hearts are hollow and minds are washed beyond hope. So you come across people who secretly celebrate when you break off with your hot girlfriend or people who punch trees in the dark corners of Labrador Park after hearing about your double promotion at work. The scariest thing about these walking afflicted is, they learn to wear a mask of your friend's face. Identifying them proves near impossible for the untrained. For those who will be genuinely happy for you when you succeed are usually those who have always loved you through the darker times. 

What makes it difficult to sieve through the hollowmen is that the afflicted are among those who loved you when you were not a success, because you were not a success. They tend to be the ones who will remind you most how much they care about you and what they did for you in the past, whereas those who truly love you would do it silently, while you are asleep, weak and sick - almost escaping your notice each time. So open up your eyes, gentlemen, to see who loves your heart and who can't wait to put a dagger through it.

On a similar note, not all who walk through the storm with you are friends. For some are sharing your woes and the others, will give anything to frolic in your pool of misery. Be it a stormy or sunny day, we tend to be too distracted to observe the ones keeping a watchful eye over you and those who hide in the shadows, wearing the mask of your friend, constantly plotting to outdo you in every competition you didn't choose to participate in, laughing at your blunders, celebrating moral victories as hollow as their hearts.

If you don't see, you bear no blame. For one can only see from afar, with absolute clarity of the mind. 

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