Can I ask you a question? Am I mad? No, this is no way to begin. You will think me a madman if I open with such a ridiculous question–and I do not wish you to think me mad. I beg your pardon. Let me explain myself first, and then I will ask you this question again.
You see, I have been overcome; overcome by a thought. I have been thinking about peace and how it can be achieved. I suppose there are many methods of arriving at a state of peaceful coexistence among humans, but one of them stands out quite prominently in my mind. How strange I am. You see, I was thinking just the other day that the way to achieve peace is to simply go out of doors, poke a hole in the ground, and plant a seed. Not just any common seed, but one which will produce food; human food. It occurred to me the other day that this must be one of the most peaceful acts a man ever did learn.
Listen to me! I must sound completely mad! How is anyone to understand what I mean by saying this? I do not mean that planting seeds in the ground can obviate any tension that may be found to exist between humans. Maybe what I mean to express is that the common planting of seeds in the ground by humans is more conducive to peaceable coexistence between those humans. Yes, perhaps this is it. Do you understand?
What if we did not all plant seeds? Do you see what could happen then? That would mean that someone would have to plant more–enough to feed those who did not want to plant. Do you see now? What would happen if that person–that is, the person who must plant for others–suddenly could not plant? You are quite right to say that this would create a vacuum, and that someone else would take on the planting. But the interim could involve violence, am I quite right? Starvation is man’s greatest fear after all. Well, well. You may disagree with this assertion, but would you agree that a man would sooner kill than starve?
Am I utterly mad?