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Chapter 4 of the book titled: "Stories That Matter" by XTM. A good story takes an audience on a journey, makes an emotional connection, fosters relationships that are true and meaningful and inspires action. Stories bear witness to our path in life. Threading
them together builds legacy.
 COMING SOON
 COMING SOON
 COMING SOON
 THE MARATHON
The Marathon is a heartwarming story
about a group of elderlies having to adapt
in the face of fast pace technological
changes happening in their small town.
The underlying message is that we
exist through the stories we tell, they
are the footprints we leave in people’s
lives and the global consciousness
that is Internet.
We exist to leave a valued legacy in other
people’s stories and humanity’s collective
consciousness called the Internet.
Harry lives in the small town that is known for its good
cheer and genuine courtesy. Everybody knows everybody
in the locality. Annual events like sports day celebration
foster a sense of community, offering families the
opportunity to come together and enjoy one another’s
Every day, Harry enjoys taking a stroll across town,
stopping for a moment to greet people and have a chat
with them. He is an ex-head-teacher, now in his 70’s, and
has always had a trusting demeanor. His soothing voice
and the wisdom of his words leave everyone a little better
off. He has seen the town develop and change over the
years, seen the buildings get taller, the transport facilities
get faster and the people get busier...
At the end of his daily walk, Harry reaches a building and
climbs up the stairs to a common room. This is where
he meets a group of retired elderlies like himself. They
form part of a social club that offers them a quiet and
reflective space where they can play board games, share
jokes and enjoy a chit chat, and in so doing, feel like they
still exist and matter.
The club has existed for 100 years and the building that
houses it is the oldest in the area. Its main attraction is
a library that offers books to borrow, and free access to
magazines, newspapers and to computers, even if none
of them are proficient in using computers and don’t really
make much use of it.
Ed is the leader of the gang.
He was previously a mechanic with a thriving business
but, like so many, had to close his company when he
couldn’t adapt to technological change offered by his
competitors. Now, like his friends, he tries to keep himself
useful by doing some menial jobs here and there. When
Ed arrives, he usually moves around to say hello to
Today, Ed seems concerned and calls the others for a
brief meeting. He has bad news. The local government
advised that they will stop sponsoring the club, meaning
that the members will have to vacate the community hall.
The building will then be pulled down for a commercial
space to be built in its stead. Everyone is saddened by the
news. The elderlies will lose their hangout, the place in
which they all have so many memories.
After the meeting, Harry leaves the building and goes
to meet a group of children. He started coaching after
retirement, with a view to pass on some values that he
feels are essential and also to make himself some money,
now that he is no longer working. He reads them a story
from a book and is happy by their show of enthusiasm.
He finally closes the book and tells them he will continue
the following day.
Harry goes to sleep that night with a lot on his mind.
The following day, Harry meets his friends for a walk in
the community park. The small group wander about the
winding paths bordered with varieties of trees and plants
as they discuss the issues with the community hall. They
eventually sit on one of the benches to relax and while
discussing, they come to the conclusion that they need to
meet the Mayor.
Later, at the Mayor’s place who agreed begrudgingly
to meet them, they discuss the importance of the
community hall in keeping the elderly happy. They stress
that the library further constitutes the memory and legacy
of the town. The Mayor sarcastically tells them that the
younger generation doesn’t read books and newspapers
anymore, and that everything is available online. He
adds that, at their age, there is no need for them to be
anywhere but at home playing with their grandchildren.
Harry picks up a pamphlet from the Mayor’s table that
encourages participants to enroll for the yearly marathon
race to be held the following month. The Mayor jokingly
tells him: “Maybe if you could win this race, you would get
enough money to pay for the rent yourself and we will not
have to pull it down.”
The guys leave the office and part in sadness.
Harry later goes to meet his batch of students who are
waiting for him to complete reading the book. While
walking around in the class, Harry sees a colony of ants
on the wall and goes to take out a magnifying glass
to show it to the kids and explain to them the value of
teamwork. As he does so, suddenly he gets an idea.
The following day at the community hall, everyone is still
sad and a depressing mood hangs over their chats. But
then Harry interjects: “And what if we do as the Mayor
“Meaning we vacate the hall? ” the others ask.
“No, meaning we participate in the marathon….”
All his friends are in shock at this suggestion.
“You are crazy! None of us can run this distance, let alone
wear a tracksuit.”
“I know how we can win it.”
Harry finally explains his idea. “I read the conditions well.
It says that the winner is the one who completes the
marathon. It’s not said that the “one” means a person. It
could mean a team of people. One of us could start and
another complete the race.”
“So you mean, we can cheat and still get the winning
“No, what I mean is that even if none of us can run the
full marathon, we should be able to collectively win it. For
example, if each one of us runs 10 meters as fast as he
can, together we complete the marathon faster than the
The elders are excited by the idea. None of them saw it
that way. Suddenly everyone starts buzzing.
One guy had remained quiet the whole time. He finally
intervenes. “Harry, your idea is unorthodox. But there is an
issue. How many participants will you need?”
Another person intervenes: “We can train. We still have
“Yes but I just had a heart transplant, I can’t train or run.
Many of us are sick. Many have undergone an operation
or have health issues.”
“The real question is how many participants do we need?”
“We can get at most 100 people in the club. We will need
42 hundred people.”
“Yea, that seems like a lot.”
That night when Harry reaches home, his son tells
him that he heard that their community hall will be
demolished. Harry tells him he has found a way to save
it but for that one of his friends will need to win the
marathon. He then tells him about his idea and his worry
that they might not have enough participants.
He goes to sleep feeling a little down.
The following morning, he is surprised to see one of his
students has come to meet him. He is very excited. The
small boy shows him a post he published online.
“I told your story online. I told them about how my teacher
is trying to save his social club. See the response: from
all over the world elderlies are proposing to join in the
race. There is even a sports personality who is proposing
to help train you and your friends. A lot of them want to
come and stay in our town to assist in the marathon.”
“Wow! This is going to be really big.”
“They are all impressed by your idea. How did you think of
“Remember the colony of ants? Where they get the job
done with everyone helping everyone out?”
Harry brings the good news to his fellow friends and they
start planning everything. They realize that they need
funds to buy sports shoes and sports drinks to help them
with the preparation. They organize themselves and use
word of mouth to provide their services to everybody who
needs help in town.
Soon the small town is taken over by elderlies working
and getting things done.
With the help of his students, Harry learns to use the
computer and sees the benefits of the web as a global
human consciousness and attention machine. He is
able to contact people quickly to get each of them to
coordinate their activities.
The sports personality helps them with getting their
story out and further provides other tips and tricks.
They upload photos and videos of their progress. They
document their journey. Eventually TV channels across
the world get hold of the news and propose to come to
town for the marathon.
The elderly are indeed able to complete their race and
come out first, with a lot of help and encouragement from
However, the race organizers now have a decision to take.
After much deliberation, they decide that the team of
elderlies has not played by the rules and decide, in a spirit
of fairness, to grant the first prize to the individual that
started and completed the race.
They give a symbolic prize to the team of elderlies for
There is mixed feelings among the guys: they are proud
of what they have achieved and still sad that they are
not able to save the community hall that has so much
emotional value for them. However, the attention
generated by the race takes the Internet by storm and a
wealthy donor comes forward and proposes to help buy
the community hall and turn it over to the benefit of the
They get many other sponsors that propose to give the
whole place an uplift. The small town finally sees the
contribution that the elderlies can make to a community
and hail them as role models. Their legacy lives on in
the heart of those they touched and stays in the global
consciousness that is the Internet for many years to
Ducorp’s Truth First; XTM’s Fjagck Fake
Truth is a shining light through chaos.
It has the capacity to attract attention and make itself
heard. Attention congregates into communities. People in
communities have wants and needs. Finding a solution that the
people in these communities are willing to experience is our
business. They decide whether our service is good enough for
commercial transactions to take place.
The barrier to entry to our business is that truth can’t be faked.
The first pillar of our business is focused on personal
development. We aim to teach truth first in practice through
incentivizing our people to share their stories and document
their journey with us. In today’s world content lives forever and
faking it can destroy reputation. The internet is unforgiving
in that respect. This conviction forces our team develop self
esteem and self awareness, and to listen to themselves first.
This is the starting point for them to build on what they want to
do and who they are.
Stories bear witness to our path in life. Our media efforts are
focused on documenting our journey, and the stories of those
we come in contact with. This can inspire others or help them
as they move along their own path. We believe that attention is
shifting to mobile devices at scale and our aim is to fill in the
cracks in someone’s day with bite size content.
Our businesses are focused on addressing real problems of
our audience through perspective and practicality. If we’re
successful at meeting that demand, we get rewarded with
commercial transactions. If not, we understand that we were
not good enough that time and learn from the experience to
refine our way to success.
We love the battle and enjoy the journey.
Gratitude is our mission and leaving a legacy is our reward.