Bill didn’t stay in Shanghai. That evening, he bought a ticket to Cape Town and flew to Africa. All the way on the plane, Bill wondered why they let him get away. They have unlimited connections and opportunities. They were most likely following him and should have known that he didn’t go to his hotel in Shanghai. Maybe they know everything? Why didn’t the Chinese police detain him at the airport? Or was it all a show? All of it seemed very strange and troubled Bill.
The next morning, Bill went for a walk along the coast. The weather was beautiful in these morning hours. A light breeze blew from the ocean. Deciding to rest, Bill sat down on a bench, put his feet up on his suitcase and began to watch a group of teenagers playing beach volleyball. Thoughts and memories suddenly surged through him. He did not notice how he began to speak to himself.
Bill: ... God, what am I doing? Is there really no other way out? Is everything really so hopeless? Maybe I didn’t think everything through? Maybe I should give humanity another chance?
Bill: On the other hand, we had many chances not to bring everything to the edge of the abyss.
Bill: We ourselves are to blame for what must happen in the end. I will only save us from unnecessary torment and preserve life on the planet. And we’ll perish anyway. So let’s at least leave with dignity.
Bill: Yes, that's right. But it seems that I didn’t take something into account. Something has escaped my attention. But what is it?
At that moment, the ball bounced off the ground and flew straight into Bill's right shoulder. Bill started in surprise. A little boy ran up, apologized and took the ball.
Bill: Here! Maybe that’s it?! Maybe children are the way out? Maybe this is the secret that will help resolve the current situation! Well, of course! You just need to explain everything to the children. They’ll grow up and fix everything. They’ll build a new society, a new economy, new everything... And then a disaster can be avoided...
Bill: It’s a good idea, even if not realistic. First of all, the disaster will already have happened before the new generation grows up. They won’t have a single chance to fix anything. They just don’t have the time. And secondly... Bill, you understand everything perfectly well.
Bill: In modern conditions it is simply impossible to raise a new generation that will understand everything and change its attitude to many issues relating to human society, the nature and their interaction with it.
Bill: Why is that? They study mathematics, chemistry, physics and other sciences in schools. Can't they understand simple and logical truths?
Bill: It's not about whether they can understand them or not. The fact is, will they be given this opportunity or not?
Bill: Do you think parents will just surrender their children to you so that you can raise them differently somehow? You are a naive fool! Most people are extremely conservative. Especially when it comes to raising children. But how would you know that? You haven’t got any children.
Bill: It doesn't matter.
Bill: And they’ll tell you just that: How can you be a judge of children’s upbringing if you yourself have never had a child? And this will be the end of this attempt. And the problem is a little different.
Bill: How so?
Bill: The problem is that no educational program can raise children different from their parents. Most children are brought up in families where their ancestors’ worldviews are implanted in them.
Bill: Bullshit! This was true twenty years ago, but not now. Today, children are more affected by the Internet and by society. Parents come second. And there is a chance to influence the younger generation.
Bill: Yeah... But you forgot that society is no better than family. And that the Internet will turn them into dumb perpetually consuming mediocre folk even faster. This is exactly what’s happening now. The only option is to open up schools like Summerhill all over the world, where children will be brought up without parents in a completely free environment. Then something will be able to change.
Bill: You see! Not everything is so hopeless.
Bill: Don’t harbor any illusions about this. Most adults will never send their children to a school like this, because it contradicts their ideas and beliefs. By the way, these beliefs are precisely what had led the humanity to an inevitable disaster.
Bill: Don’t they understand that it’s practically the only way out?
Bill: What? Are you out of your mind?
Bill: They treat children as their private property. And they also like to reason like this: “My parents raised me like this. And did I grow up to be a moral degenerate? Or a thug? Or a drug addict? No. I’m quite successful, I have a good job. I pay taxes regularly. So I'm good. Why radically change the education system if it helps raise normal people?” Bill, that’s exactly what they’ll say!
Bill: Do you mean to say that children and the younger generation have no chance?
Bill: None at all. Poor kids have no chance of growing up and building a new society. They are innocent hostages of adults and the system that they had built.
Bill: But what about evolution? After all, in theory, with each generation people should become smarter and better.
Bill: Heard of dinosaurs? They died out, in case you forgot, just as millions of other creatures that could not adapt. And how do people essentially differ from them? They don’t. Except that it looks like humanity is nature’s biggest mistake.
Bill: Yes... I look at the children, and I feel so sorry for them. But they really could have fixed everything. Perhaps they could raise a rebellion against the adults who are leading humanity straight into the abyss, and fix it all.
Bill: Stop talking nonsense! What rebellion could children possibly lead?! Humanity is doomed! And if you don’t get scared, you can still at least save the planet...
His phone rang suddenly. Bill pulled it out of his pocket.
Bill: Strange, a US number... Who could it be?
Bill answered the call.
Sam: How are you, Bill? Recognized me? It’s Sam. How is the weather in Cape Town?
Bill: How did you…? Alright, it’s a stupid question. What do you want, Sam?
Sam: Bill, you’d made a lot of noise. There is a rumor that the Chairman himself is dealing with your case now. It is very serious. Even I have never seen him. Our people have searched your lab...
Sam: We now know a lot about what you are up to. Bill, listen, do you even realize what you are doing?
Bill: If you know everything, why don't you just kill me?
Sam: I will be honest with you - this option is also being considered. But we still hope to cooperate with you. We hope that you will stop acting alone and will start working with those who think almost the same way you do. Bill, you and I have the same goals - to save humanity and save the planet. Isn't that what you want?
Bill: Yes, this is what I want. Only, as I have said more than once, you’ve wasted your time creating an insane consumption system and other redundant nonsense. Your time is up. You did not accomplish your goal. Therefore, I have no other choice but to act independently. If you want to kill me – do it. But I won’t back down from my task.
Sam: Bill, Bill, don't hang up, please...
Bill switched off his phone, took his briefcase and hurried away.
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