Brad was unhappy. He was tired, annoyed, and most of all, bored. As a twenty-five-year- old millennial, Brad felt that he had lived out all there was to live.
Founder of a smash-hit social media, Brad was loaded. Beyond rich, even to his own imagination. He was a man of money, whose wealth transcended currency and numbers, and also the undeniably most successful man of his decade.
One cloudy day, Brad awoke to the soft dripping of rain. Rubbing his eyes, he began a regular morning routine of dressing and washing. Walking downstairs, he flashed a brief smile to his butler Alfred, a man who not only respected Brad, but understood his needs unlike any other. Also, Alfred was his only true friend, even though he was getting paid to stay around him.
The drizzly dawn outside fit well in the dreary city of New York. Brad walked through Times Square, bustling with people, even on days like these. Raising his head, Brad peered through the rain drops to see a divine face: his own. Looking around, he noticed that no one seemed to care much for the multi-billionaire standing in their midst. Sighing, Brad retreated back to his apartment. A stranger nodded at his front porch. He returned with a smile.
Reaching the top floor of his domain, Brad overlooked an awaking New York from his penthouse. One of many mornings in his life time. And yet every one of those mornings ended the same way as the previous: the covers of darkness. An endless cycle of life, something that most valued pricelessly. But Brad was sick of it. What was the point of living if nothing was going to change? Regardless of what Brad did, the sun was going to rise tomorrow. The current world governments were not going to collapse. He would most likely spend another day in this world, simply existing.
The fact was that everything could be predicted. From stocks to the next Superbowl, Brad had a keen sixth sense to the future and events that would occur behind the scenes. A gift and a curse. Brad, unlike others, saw the world in numbers and variables, percentages and probability. A man who could change the world.
But he didn’t. Why? Men who had the ability to change the world always found ways to change it. Brad, a gifted man, whose destiny all but seemed was to change the world, was also a man of science and philosophy. A man who respected the universe and its vastness.
Brad looked out over the high rises of New York City, amused at people’s ignorance to the truth. The fact was, no matter what anyone did, he or she wasn’t going to change the universe. Insignificant beings in a reality stretching far beyond their control. While Brad understood the concept of the butterfly effect, such small actions of humans would never influence anything beyond the simple reaches of their society. Although people could solve problems, improve technology, and prosper all they want, no one was going to change the universe in any meaningful way.
Crimes, business deals, international war, and all minuscule events occurred on an atomic scale of the universe. Even with all the money in the world, Brad could not change that fact. He could purchase a new boat or attempt a car accident. Neither of which would change anything outside of this little blue ball.
Apparently with nothing better to do, Brad wandered through the streets of New York once more. Many of the buildings he had once visited to find jobs, now were irrelevant like the rest of the world.
On his walk through the city, an object caught Brad’s eye. A cup, with black sharpie scribbles on the side. He gave a closer look at the handwriting, recognizing two words: “A Change”. Slightly adjusting his view, Brad saw a person staring back. An elderly man in rags, thin, pale-skin, gazing back in a desperate, hopeful look. A look shaken from lifetime experiences. A look of unimportance, a look of darkness, a look of a shrunken universe, revolving about bare necessities.
Brad reached into his pocket and pulled out a few dollars. He carefully set it into the cup, nodding at the man. He smiled back and whispered a quiet “Thank you”. His eyes lightened momentarily.
Brad returned home in attempt to understand the previous events. Alfred met him at the entrance to his apartment, politely asking for assistance. Brad sighed, and shook his head. Alfred, a man much older, gave him a concerning scan, and asked, “What bothers you, sir?”
Brad raised his head to meet his gaze. He took a long deep breath, and let out a building pressure in his chest for weeks.
“Why, Alfred, do we exist? To what point is it a successful life?”
Alfred, surprisingly undisturbed, replied, “Well, I will say that you have had a much more successful life than others. Perhaps this is the peak of life you can reach.”
“But then life is pointless! What am I going to be if all I have is money?” Brad threw up his hands in frustration. “One man cannot change the universe! I cannot change the universe!”
“Oh, but Bradford, you can change others.”
Brad was taken aback.
Alfred continued. “Brad, you sometimes get caught up in your tiny universe, but you have to realize, you live in a multiverse, with billions and billions of universe thriving, changing around you. And each universe viewed through another human. Because your view of the universe may be wider than others, you are able to change universes of other people.”
A sudden light flashed through Brad’s eyes. A moment of enlightenment. He until now had seemed too small to be relevant, a man who would pass through the universe, unable to alter its greatness.
Brad turned and looked over the lights of New York. Suddenly, he felt responsibility like never before. He could change the universe of others. One perspective at a time.