04 Fragility

Zack tells a story about a father and son, and how money sometimes matters above all else. But to find out what is the underlying theme of Zack’s tale, Fragility, you will have to join in the ensuing conversation, as it takes more than a few turns before we’re through.

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Want to read Zack’s story “Fragility” in full? Think you can identify the moral or theme for this episode? Read it below, and then take a listen to the podcast.


I’m going to tell you the story of a man named Charles. Now Charles is incredibly successful, I’m talking mansion successful. Well, a mansion and guest house and giant barn on over 200 acres of land, complete with a personal road and pond. That’s one of about 14 or so properties. Needless to say, Charles is doing well. In an almost unprecedented move though, Charles has managed to retain a view of ground-level humanity and is a pretty alright guy. 

But Charles has a father. Now his Dad is successful in his own right, also owns multiple homes and has plenty of income. Despite retiring, the guy is still active, raking in money. Charles and his father don’t speak. In fact, his father largely pretends Charles doesn’t exist. 

You see, way back in the day, Charles’ father helped him out with some seed money in exchange for stock in this company. A simple and clean deal. 

Now to be fair, these are two men who never greatly got along in the first place. Introducing money to a dynamic like that was never going to end well. When you introduce pride into the mix, things get even murkier, and Charles and his father are both prideful men. 

So eventually comes a day where money ruins everything. Charles calls his father up, to talk about the stocks and what should happen to them. Charles’ father always claimed the stock would return to Charles once he dies. Now Charles absolutely doesn’t need or want the money from stocks back, so he tells his father to split it up and give it to the grandkids. This makes his father livid. How dare he tell him what to do with his money, his stocks? He sells he’ll sell the stock and split the money between the kids. 

Why? Just to make sure it’s his way, and not Charles. It’s the only explanation that makes any kind of sense. Charles’ father’s money is what made ALL of this possible, so how dare his own son now not to need him? 

Charles buys out his own father’s stocks to the tune of millions, just to keep the stock in the family as he always wanted to do. His father accepted the money, because of course he did. But still refuses to speak with Charles, even as he marches ever closer to the Reaper’s embrace.

Now, listen to the full episode as we dissect Zack’s story.