High walls were once a show of power meant to protect. People also have high walls. I am one of those people. It’s certainly not by choice. Much like royalty, I feel too precious to be left out in the open. Life will always be about survival, whether we’re sad or happy. As a kid I loved forts. I have a philosophy, higher the wall prettier the fort. Believe it or don’t but that’s always been my opinion.
Kings used to put in so much effort to build their forts. It used to take years and all those nameless people who built the fort would not be given credit for their work, all the credit would go to the King or the Queen for demanding their people to build these massive structures for their safety. Not that forts weren’t useful but it makes you think that all said and done Kings weren’t great human beings, all of them were full of themselves in some way or the other.
It’s the same with people. We build high walls brick by brick as we grow up, over the years becoming inaccessible because we feel like nobody understands us or that everybody is out to get us. We feel we’re doing ourselves a favour by locking ourselves up in a tower and expecting a person or people to be able to scale those high walls to reach us. I call it the ‘Rapunzel complex’. In some way or the other, we’re all doing this to ourselves every day. We don’t have to do it, but it makes us feel special doesn’t it?
We’re not sitting behind these walls just for the heck of it, we all want to be found. Like I said higher the walls, prettier the fort. Why do you think that is? Kings didn’t build high forts to hide, they wanted everybody to know that they were there, right there, you wouldn’t miss the fort from miles away. Why do you think everyone believes that one can see the Great Wall from space? It’s not actually possible, but it definitely makes an impact. If anything it comes from a place of pride and overconfidence.
If somebody really doesn’t want to be noticed they wouldn’t make so much of an effort so as to attract attention. People say they want to get lost, I say they want to get lost so that they can be found. We make sure everybody knows of our high walls. It’s the mystery that attracts those who want to find you. They feel accomplished after breaking down those walls and you feel like they’ve done the impossible. It’s a win-win situation. Sometimes when someone doesn’t care for your high walls it feels even better, because it’s a challenge and you notice those who don’t see the walls, they just see you and see through you.
We’re all chasing after a story, a story that is timeless, a story that completes us. We all want to be remembered for our story not us as beings. That’s why we build those high walls, those high walls tell a story. Some put on it a ‘keep out’ sign, others build spikes, some build a moat, some build a maze, others would make it look welcoming from outside until you find canons behind the gates. Each person’s high walls serve a purpose, we’re not protecting ourselves, just that part of us that we feel nobody sees. Some people protect their story and others protect their truths by telling lies. It varies, those who imitate don’t know what their protecting.
High walls are not meant to give the people living within them any comfort. The high walls scare the person behind them too. No matter how high the walls, the King would never sleep easy. The high walls draw enough attention to keep you up at night. You know they all know of them, those who love you and those who hate you. Does that mean we shouldn’t have high walls? Maybe, maybe not. High walls made their mark on history, rarely have the people inside them. Although the people in the fort have changed with each generation, the walls have stood, even after the people who built them and those who lived inside them were long gone.
It’s a choice, do we want our story to be written on those high walls when we’re gone? What if our high walls outlast us? Do we want to be remembered for building high walls or for the story we wrote and lived? One day we’ll die and our high walls will remain to wait for someone else to take shelter behind them. Our names will join the others carved on those pretty walls. It’ll be the ghost of our story that will haunt that fort we built, forever waiting to be found, for eternity. We deserve to be found, we deserve the story we want to live and it should be more than those high walls and our fears.
Our story should live in everyone’s ears, a lullaby for babies to fall asleep to at night. Our story should live in memories and in hearts. Memories will go with us to the grave and these high walls should remain quiet and lost behind the age, to be remembered not as a palace but as a cage.