I never really understood it. Even eight years later the whole selection process still baffled me. The chosen one coming of age initiative had been set up to find the elitist of the elite and deem them the protector of our fragile world. A chosen one wasn’t necessarily picked every year, sometimes they didn’t chose anyone but there was a pattern. Strong, intelligent, what society would deem perfect. It made sense, it worked and we all went on with our lives.
There came the day of my selection process. I was confident in my abilities; I had been told my whole life that I would make it so who was to doubt me? I was born for this. There hadn’t been a chosen one for many years and everyone knew we needed one desperately.
I wasn’t surprised to find I made it to the final two. I was surprised when I saw who my opponent was. A small timid girl I had been at school with for many years. She had always been shy and soft spoken and was fiddling with her hands when The Wiser walked out to inspect us. She answered with one word or maybe an extremely short sentence.
Nothing, however, could prepare me for the shock of watching The Wiser stand in front of the timid girl and saying “She will do well.” Before spinning on a heel and marching out of there.
I had spent years searching for The Wiser. They were difficult people to find. They kept to themselves, showed up for the selection process and then disappeared into thin air.
I searched for eight years, looking in the desolate places I could find until I tracked The Wiser down to a small apartment block in the city. Yet standing in front of her door I couldn’t bring myself to knock. I eventually brought my fist to the soft wooden door. The door opened after a few moments of silence.
I stood before a short blonde, her green eyes glinting with curiosity.
She glanced around the hall, “You better come in.”
The tea was warm in my hands yet I wasn’t focused on the beverage but rather the women before me.
“You have to understand, when I walked into that arena I wasn’t looking for perfect. I was looking for something a little different.” She shifted under the intensity of my gaze.
“What were you looking for?” my voice was laced with a wrathful tone.
“You have strength of body, she has strength of heart. You can understand facts, she understands the world. You come from a wealthy family, she has had to fight to get where she is.”
My eyebrows pushed together, “I don’t understand.”
She smiled softly, “You are the bravest person I know, but she is the most courageous. Courage is far more valuable than bravery will ever be. Yes she is flawed, she will never be perfect but that’s what made her the better choice. She can lead our people with the truth that we are beautiful in our flaws not in the lie that we must strive to be perfect. A Unique is worth far more than a copy, that is what the chosen on should represent.”
Courage is far more valuable than bravery, be the courageous antelope not the roaring lion.