Life Insurance

A pack of hyenas approached a male lion in charge of a kingdom.  The lead hyena slowly walked up to the King and said, “I have a proposition that I would like to discuss with you King.”  The lion stared into his eyes and silently asked him to make his proposal.  The hyena said, “I have watched and studied the human race and learned a great deal.  They are the rulers of the planet and have the largest brain relative to body size.  They have developed a very novel and intelligent concept that I would like to explain to you.”  The lion continued to silently stare and said please continue.

The hyena said, “They have developed a concept called life insurance.  Upon the death of the family-head the life insurance company will pay money to ensure that the surviving family has enough money to care for itself.  In return for this favor, the head of the family must pay a small fee every month to guarantee this future promise.  Millions and billions of humans contribute small monthly fees to ensure their family is taken care of upon the death of the provider or King.  What do you think of this novel and intelligent concept developed by our almighty human rulers?”

The lion looked at the hyena and asked, “what is money and what is a monthly fee?”  The hyena took some time to think in order to formulate an answer the King could comprehend.  The hyena then responded, “money is the human equivalent to the energy we expend to earn mating rights, keep those mating rights  and hunt food.  But they have figured out all kinds of ingenious ways to make more energy without actually expending energy.  They can print energy, they can invest energy and make more energy before the energy is spent, and most important of all, they can borrow energy to expend energy now with a slight expense of energy and the promise to supply much more energy in the future.  Now, as far as your question about monthly fees, this is simply a promise to expend a small portion of your energy each period for a third-party so that when you die that cumulative expended energy will be released by the third-party to take care of your surviving family.  Does this make sense to you now?”

The powerful lion sat in the tall grass as the wind gently blew his noble mane; he could smell the scent of antelope blood and his harems sex in the breeze.  He observed his young cubs playing.  The sun was beating down on his coat and the white fluid clouds transformed above.  He looked directly in the eyes of the hyena and said, “I don’t understand what these ingenious human inventions have to do with you and me.  Tell me why you are here before me.”  The hyena bowed his head and took a few steps back and said, “if you allow my pack of hyenas to share in each of your harem’s catch, we will ensure that they will survive and have plenty to eat after you die.  What do you think of this intelligent human proposal and concept?”

The lion looked at the dry prairie, his harem and cubs, the pack of hungry hyenas, the vultures looming in the tree above, and inhaled the wild warm scented air and said, “I don’t understand your proposal.  One day I will be too old to protect my cubs and harem.  One day a younger more powerful lion will come into my territory and challenge me to a duel.  One day I will die in a fight to the death.  One day a younger lion will kill me and eat my young and mate with my harem and all will start anew.  One day I will lie here taking my last breaths — you and your pack and the vultures above will circle until I am dead and devour what is me.  Why should I give you a little piece of me and my harem’s energy each month when I will give you all of me upon my end after my noble fight with youth and death?  And how will you care for my harem and cubs upon my death?  You and your pack are merely scavengers and cannot hunt or protect my harem and young cubs from a strong youthful lion and future King.  What can you possibly offer and do to care for my family?

It seems to me that the human being has nothing to offer upon death and this is why it has created such ingenious inventions.  Upon my death, I offer myself to you, your pack, and the vultures, and the young lion and future King will ensure the survival of my harem, eat my young cubs,  and bring into existence new beings.  This makes sense to me.  The cycle is complete and efficient and I have something to offer upon my fight with youth and death.  So my answer to you hyena, scavenger and shrewd investor with nothing to offer future generations, is a resounding no.  Leave at once or you shall become a source of energy for me, my harem, and my cubs.  Begone you worthless mooch!”

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One thought on “Life Insurance

  1. Such “Life Insurance” really ought to be called Death Insurance, just like “Health Insurance” really should be called Sickness Insurance. But these “hyenas” (your metaphor does a disservice to this unique species of hunters/scavengers–but I get the point) are too shrewd to call a spade a spade.

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