The Prince’s Dilemma

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Hi guys.  The piece of prose down below is entry in Figment’s March Madness Matchup: Round 1.  This is based off of a quote from Machiavelli’s The Prince: “The answer is that one would like to be both the one and the other; but because it is difficult to combine them, it is far safer to be feared than loved if you cannot be both.”  




The phrase, “falling in love” has a lot more validity than we give it credit for.  However, it’s not the nice kind of floating fall in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland in which one can calmly observe the queer buoyant furnishing pass by.  Falling in love is much closer to plummeting to one’s death after being tossed, head over heels, off of an active volcano as a human sacrifice.

We fall into depths we cannot fathom, continuously clocked by bits of rock and beaned by an occasional sprinkle of pebbles.  Perhaps with real love, we are not consumed by angry lava, but a piece of our hearts irrevocably breaks off to make room for someone else’s love.

Above all things, love knits, intertwines our happiness with that of our significant other.  Love is unfortunately a poor handicraftsman, sometimes making one portion looser than the next and other times strangling bits together.  The chance of love turning out even a little awry is much greater than that of having a perfect relationship.  Humans are such fragile things; there are an indefinite number of sure-fire ways to kill massive amounts of people, but to make even one happy?  Love brings us to our knees, and we’re at the mercy of even the faintest crinkle of his eyes or the minute curl of her lips.  Indeed, it’s much better “to be feared than loved”, because love is a fearful thing.


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