Diamond Theory – The Necessity of Challenge
“The Only Use of an Obstacle is To Be Overcome.”
Carbon told Oxygen “I have this odd feeling. It’s in my gut, in my mind, and truth be told, I cannot stop thinking it.”
Oxygen responded, curiosity in its voice, “a feeling? Of what?”
Carbon was silent for a moment. Then: “that I can be more than I am.”
Oxygen furrowed its brow. “How do you mean?” it asked.
Carbon scratched its chin. “Well,” it began, “I have this nagging suspicion I can become more than I am. That one day, people might think I am very valuable. That one day, people might pay a lot of money for me. That one day, people might want me at their weddings, and carry me everywhere, and even break into banks and stores to steal me.”
Oxygen laughed. “How brash and arrogant you are!” it said. “That will never happen!”
Years passed. Decades. Millenia.
Oxygen wandered the earth, being inhaled by animals and homo sapiens and meerkats. It enjoyed life, flitted here and there, and spent a lot of time on the beach.
Carbon got itself a gym membership, started reading voraciously, and doing Wolf Run competitions.
Oxygen dated a while, but mostly went from one partner to another, pretty much bumbling along, depending on who would take it.
Carbon set itself a dating routine, and went out intentionally to find partners that would match its IQ, and chemical makeup, and monthly earnings.
Oxygen watched a lot of TV, caught up on its correspondence, and knew every episode of Gavin and Stacey word for word.
Carbon started taking Nimpo and Aikido classes, to teach itself discipline, and respect for the opponent, and control of itself physically.
Oxygen found out that the KFC Zinger Tower Burger tasted better than sex, and got discount cards at every fast food place that even put cheese in the fish burgers.
Carbon started its own nutrition routine, and ensured it always got its five fruit and veg per day, and monitored its calorie count so it always ran a slight deficit, and any litter and waste went to the local recycling plant.
Oxygen was happy with its job, and went round the planet saying things like “having what you want is less important than wanting what you have,” and was pretty chuffed with its lot. Oxygen knew when Sodium left with the kids, it was probably just temporary, and who the hell needs family anyway?
Carbon worked hard. Worked harder. Worked harder and harder and harder and harder. Watched Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, and Lennox Lewis, studying how greatness came from a combination of Talent, Dedication, Perseverance, and Industry.
And so time went on.
Thousands of years later, Oxygen walked into a jewellery store to have a mooch around. There, on the left, in a glass case was a beautiful, glittering, stunning diamond, fastened into a golden ring, bejewelled with precious gems and stones.
“Well smack me with a saucepan and call me Mavis,” said Oxygen, ” that diamond is an absolute beauty!”
“Hello Oxygen,” said Carbon.”
“Sweet Moses’ bathrobe!” exclaimed Oxygen. “Carbon, is that you???”
“It’s me,” Carbon answered.
“Man oh man,” Oxygen went, “You’re beautiful! You’re a diamond! You’re worth millions! You’re harder than rock! You’re like the most popular thing ever! Everyone wants you at their weddings! People literally break into stores like this to steal you! You’re like the most popular stone in the whole solar system!”
“Yes, I am,” Carbon responded.
“How,” Oxygen asked, “I mean how, exactly, did you become this amazing, stunning, mesmerising thing?”
Carbon was quiet for a while. Oxygen held its breath. Neither of them saw Sodium tip-toeing out the back door to its car with a guilty look on its face.
Carbon looked up at Oxygen.
“It took a lot,” Carbon explained, “but mostly, things had to get a lot harder, and a lot hotter, and it took millennia.”
“Nutshell version: it took increased Pressure, Temperature, and Time.”