Once upon a time, in a far off land, their lived a tribe known as the Rain Catchers. The Rain Catchers had discovered that if they left barrels outside and waited long enough, water would fall from the skies and fill the barrels, giving them plenty of clean water to drink. Because they had learned this method of gathering water rather than do as other tribes did and carry water from far-off springs, they had extra time on their hands to build bigger houses and keep their yards neat and clean. They also were able to trade water with other tribes for things that they needed. As a result, they became very wealthy.
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Because they were so wealthy and other tribes were living in poverty, people from other regions were always trying to move to the land of the Rain Catchers. There was always a steady stream of people coming to their land. Some individuals moved there and stayed, while others came only for a brief period of time, did work for the Rain Catchers to make money that they sent back home to their families in poorer lands, and then returned home. People learned that they could make far more money working for the Rain Catchers than they could at home because the Rain Catchers had plenty of goods to trade because of the time they had. Back home everyone was busy gathering water and had little available to trade. Most of the water they gathered they used themselves, and they didn’t have time for much after they spent all day gathering water, so there was very little trade.
At first, those who moved permanently to live with the Rain Catchers learned their methods of gathering water. The Rain Catchers knew that there was a seemingly infinite amount of water falling from the skies to gather. They were happy to show others how to gather rain so that they could have plenty to drink and be wealthy as well. In fact, the more people there were with enough time on their hands to do more than gather water, the more that was produced and the more that could be traded. This made everyone wealthier and provided plenty of choices for everything, from houses, to belts, to catsup varieties. The more people who came and learned the Rain Catchers’ ways, the wealthier the tribe became compared to other tribes, which basically stayed at the same level from year to year.
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Some of those who moved in improved upon the methods the Rain Catchers used. Some discovered that if you put out a bigger barrel, you could catch more rain. Others discovered that you could use a big tarp to direct more rain into your barrels, which was cheaper to make than it was to add more barrels. Others discovered that if you covered the barrels and filtered the water flowing into them, you could reduce the amount of dirt and insects in the water, making it more pleasant to drink. While some of the original Rain Catcher Tribe wanted to stick to their old ways, many adopted these new techniques and gathered water using the m. As they did, the society of the Rain Catchers started to gather so much water that they could supply many of the neighboring tribes, both as charity and in trade. This made the Rain Catchers even wealthier.
As they became more and more wealthy, there started to become different subtribes among the Rain Catchers. Some of the people among the tribe decided that it was no fun to gather rain, constantly going out and setting up the barrels and then bringing the water from them inside. They felt like there were plenty of barrels around and that others should just give them some water from their barrels so that they could spend their days doing other things. They discovered that because some of the Rain Catchers who were too sick or old to gather water themselves were given water by others, they could get water without putting in the effort if they just acted like they were sick.
People not wanting to catch rain also found that some of the Rain Catchers set up extensive collection systems with big tarps and therefore had plenty of water to share with their own kids. Because their kids didn’t need to catch rain themselves, those kids often felt guilty and felt that others shouldn’t need to catch rain either. They were then able to convince the kids to demand that those who caught more water should share with those who caught less so that things would be more equal. The most successful at this strategy convinced the kids to put them in charge of distributing the water, which meant both that they could siphon plenty off for themselves and have influence both over those who they were taking the water from, who wanted to get special exemptions and not need to give up as much water, and those they were giving the water to, since they could get favors from them in exchange for giving them more water. Thus a group of distributors were created who did not catch water themselves but could grow wealthy without doing so.
Once the Rain Catchers reached a certain level of wealth, the number of people coming to their land increased dramatically. It increased so fast that there started to become large groups of new comers that outnumbered the number of Rain Catchers in some areas. Because the newcomers started to become the dominant group, many of them did not learn the ways of the Rain Catchers, instead starting to go to springs in the Rain Catchers’ land to gather water as they had done in their tribes rather than learn to catch rain. Some of the Rain Catchers started to wonder if it was right to teach the new comers how to catch rain rather than let them live the way that they always had. Some Rain Catchers even started to wonder if it might be better to gather water from the springs since it was good exercise and gave you time to think as you did this mundane task. Some even proposed that the spring water was healthier than the rain water.
As this happened, there started to become two cultures in the land of the Rain Catchers, one that set out barrels to gather rain, and others who gathered water from the springs, called the Gathers. Because those who gathered rain had more time and became wealthier than those who gathered water from the springs, some of those among the Gathers started to demand that the Rain Catchers share some of their water and other wealth. Some among the Rain Catchers, who felt guilty for being wealthier, also demanded more sharing. The ones who put themselves in charge of distributing water to those who were too weak to gather their own or who were using the system used this sentiment to increase the amount of water they gathered and distributed, thereby increasing their power still further.
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Many among the Rain Catchers who saw more and more of their water and wealth being taken from them started to cry out that taking water from others by force was not the way. They insisted that others could gather water for themselves by just putting out barrels and that there was plenty of water to go around this way. They explained that everyone would be richer if everyone who was able set barrels out rather than having some who could set out barrels do nothing or do the inefficient task of gathering water from a spring.
The people in charge of distribution accused the Rain Catchers of being selfish, saying that they only cared about their water and wealth. They amplified the guilt felt by the children of the more efficient Rain Catchers to get them to insist more and more water be taken from their parents. They also said it wasn’t right for the Rain Catchers to insist the new people who gathered water from the springs change their ways. They called them Rain Catcher supremacists and said that gathering water with barrels was the Rain Catcher supremacist way. This made some of the Rain Catchers feel guilty and agree to vote to give up more of their water . Others changed to Gathers, although the original Gathers said they didn’t have the right to do so since they weren’t among the original Gathers.
As time went on and there were fewer people setting up barrels and tarps and more people choosing to do nothing or to gather water from the springs, the amount of water available decreased. This meant that there was less to trade, so the wealth of the Rain Catcher Tribe declined. They also had less time to make other things with so many of them now gathering water, which made the wealth of the tribe decline still further. Eventually this started to lead to shortages of water, making different groups start to fight over water.
This lead to jealousy and resentment among the Gathers and those who did nothing. The people who distributed the water from the Rain Catchers stoked this jealousy, telling the Gathers and those who did nothing that their lives were bad because of the Rain Catchers. That if the Rain Catchers would stop being so stingy with their water, everyone would be happy. They also told those who made things and traded with the Rain Catchers for water that they were being used by the Rain Catchers. Why should the Rain Catchers be so wealthy when it was others who were making the stuff that they were using?
The Rain Catchers kept insisting that everyone could have what they had if they followed their lead and caught rain rather than trying to gather it. They also said that while those who did nothing thought they were getting away with getting something for nothing by using the system, they were miserable and could have much better lives if they would just put forth the effort to gather rain themselves. But the individuals who took and distributed the water from the Rain Catchers wanted to get still more power, so they kept telling the people that they would all be wealthy if it weren’t for the Rain Catchers. They also said it wasn’t right for the Rain Catchers to expect the Gathers to change their ways. Instead, the Gathers should keep on gathering water from the springs but still have as much water and wealth as the Rain Catchers in the name of fairness. That everyone could be as wealthy as the Rain Catchers if they would let the distributors have control over all of the water that was gathered so that they could then dole it out “fairly.” They amplified the jealousy of the Gathers and others against the Rain Catchers all that they could.
As they did so more of the Rain Catchers started gathering water instead of catching it because they started feeling guilty. Others continued gathering rain but decided that it wasn’t worth gathering excess water since it would just be taken away, so they stopped putting out tarps and gathered only as much water as they needed personally. This meant that there was still less water to go around, which meant those who were getting water taken from the Rain Catchers from the distributers started getting less water and wealth. As this started to happen, they got mad at the distributors and started getting violent. The distributors then blamed the Rain Catchers for the shortages so that the people wouldn’t tear them apart.
But the distributors didn’t realize what would happen as people got more and more desperate and felt like they were being cheated by the Rain Catchers. Their jealousy turned to envy. “If I can’t the water and wealth the Rain Catchers have, then they can’t have it either,” they said. One night, a group got together and went to some of the Rain Catchers’ houses, took the water gathered and smashed the barrels. As people started to hear about this, they decided to do the same thing. such that riots and looting swept through the land. Eventually, virtually all of the barrels were smashed and unusable. Those that tried to build new barrels found that either their barrels got smashed or that the distributors came and took all of the water they gathered.
The distributors at this time had gathered a group of guards around them to protect them from the angry Gathers and former Rain Catchers, so they were able to use force to take water whenever they wished. As time passed the distributors were having so much trouble finding water, however, that they were not able to keep as many guards as they had in the past. Eventually the people got mad enough and the number of guards became so small that the people overcame the guards who were left and were able to kill the distributors. By that time, however, everyone had forgotten how to catch rain and so everyone was just gathering water. The time of the Rain Catchers had passed.
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