st January 4013. Item one was to discuss the outlawing of all emotions.
Ever since scientists had found a way to neutralise all brain activity relating to emotional functioning there had been great worldwide debate. There were those who thought it would be an empty and meaningless existence without true emotion. The opposition believed that taking this ability away would save time spent analysing feelings therefore increasing productivity. Additionally, ways to preserve and safeguard both the planet and the human race, could be decided upon based on fact without sentimentality clouding logic. War would surely end with no hate to spawn violence.
Serena firmly believed that to be human was to feel. The Chairman was devoutly opposed and the other members probably had a great deal of splinters the amount of time they spent sitting on the fence.
By 10.10 Serena was sat around the large circular table at the NWRC headquarters. Cameras were strategically placed around the room. The debate would be broadcast onto large screens placed in public areas in various cities around the world. Televisions’ had long since been outlawed for individual dwellings, alongside all other forms of media. The earth’s population was only privy to whatever information the NWRC wanted to release. In addition to only being allowed to watch what was considered non-controversial viewing material, the people themselves were observed at all times.
The Chairman had made sure each household was aware of today’s debate, confident that each one would have suffered in some way (as he had) and would want to see emotions banished for future generations. There was no formal voting system in place. Giving the people a say had proved disastrous in the past but it would help his waning popularity somewhat if he was deemed to listen to the majority. He was certain they would all back him. Emotional outbursts had no place in his envisaged future world. As far as he was concerned feelings were outdated, didn’t serve any purpose and it was time for a change.
“Right” said The Chairman. “Emotion is a subjective, conscious experience and in my opinion a complete waste of time. What are your thoughts please?”
And so began the debate which raged for days and days. No one had quite seen anything like it. It surpassed the record for the longest ever meeting which was when chocolate was outlawed. The Chairman patted his now trim waist, what a blessing that was.
Words were bandied about with alarming speed. It was like a game of vocabulary volleyball. Anxiety, depression, faith, love, desire, hate, passion, lust, anger, joy. The Chairman had, in his lifetime, experienced them all, but now his heart was hard and his tolerance low.
“I’ve heard enough”, he suddenly boomed. “It’s all very commendable but ultimately the decision is mine and I choose ….”
“Excuse me Sir”, a nervous guard entered the room “there’s singing”.
“What do you mean singing” asked the Chairman outraged? “Singing is highly illegal. Arrest them at once”.
The guard’s eyes darted anxiously around the room. “We can’t Sir, there’s too many of them”.
“What do you mean?” demanded the Chairman.
The guard shuffled over to the screens on the walls and one by one switched them on. A hush fell over the room as they watched in awe. Crowds of people were gathered in the cities squares around the world. Some with candles or lighters and others were playing illicit instruments. There were millions of men, women and children of different races but they were all singing the same prohibited song; ‘All you need is Love’.
As he watched the Chairman felt the barriers he had erected to protect his heart fall away as he began to recall the long buried feeling of hope. Something wet and alien slid down his face. It was a tear.
He observed the power of a collective consciousness and years of hurt, bitterness and disappointment were stripped away leaving only one thing; an open heart. He recognised that all the problems in the world couldn’t be solved by love but realised they could be made better, bearable if everyone was united. He had wanted to remove emotions not for protection but because of fear, his fear of being unhappy but he now understood you couldn’t experience true happiness without sometimes feeling the polar opposite.
He cleared his throat. “As I was saying before we were interrupted”, he continued “the decision is mine and I choose…..” he stumbled over his words but swallowing the lump in his throat he continued, “I choose to love”. Ignoring the ensuing gasp that echoed around the room he screwed up the agenda, threw it neatly into the bin and headed for the door. “Oh and Serena”, he called over his shoulder “you best start up production in the chocolate factories again”.
copyright 2013 Louise Jensen