I am often surprised at how attached we get to “our things”.
Even mad people, and trust me I would know, have their own level of attachment to their things, Try and grab anything a mad man is holding. You try.
If you are a parent you know “this madness” starts quite early in life. Your own kids will pull tantrums for you if you take away a toy that you bought them. Try withdrawing certain privileges that you have given them and see their reaction. Utter Madness! Who gave them that right? Its your money. You chose to buy the toy for them without asking them and here they are now, owning it.
I tell you madness is in the heart of every child! My mother possessed a different kind of madness; if you disobeyed her because of something she bought you, she would take it, break it and then “break” you. I would never allow my mother to chose a wife for me. Never! Am I mad? No really, am I mad?
So lets talk about this “ownership madness” disease that infects every child and refuses to respond to any sensible medication including growing up. Sadly, no vaccine has been developed so far that can prevent you form getting infected by this disease. In fact it gets worse as you grow older. I have evidence.
Lets take it from the top or rather from the beginning. Unless in very rare situations, you are born with nothing, naked. They slap your behind maybe to punish you for bringing yourself into this world. They should anyway. You should have known better! That notwithstanding, you begin your journey.
Somehow this “ownership disease” manages to convince you that the world revolves around you. So you cry when you feel like, poop immediately your diaper has been changed, wake everyone up because you cant sleep, make grown ups stoop as low as to forsake their language to talk to you in strange sounds ( a goo goo goo goo) just to see you smile. One would think that sun wont rise if you don’t smile. Despite all these efforts, you still cry.
It gets worse, you become a teenager. You think you are the first of your kind to exist. You think the rest of us were born adults. Everything now is dependent on how you feel. And you often don’t feel like a lot of things most of the time. When asked why you did or did not do something, your well thought out answer is… “I don’t feel like” Oh and you think “Just” is a complete statement worth giving as a response. Let me break it down a little so that you can see how deeply this condition runs in you.
Mum: (your mother who carried you around for a good 9 months) Davie, why dint you take out the trash? (I have to admit even as a mad man that at times she means why you (the trash) did not leave the house and not why you did not empty the trash bin, trust me – a mad man – they will never admit it).
Davie: (Feeling as if that’s the hardest most intrusive question anyone could ever ask especially as you watch your parents TV seated comfortably on their couch): Just!
I rest my case.
You think the disease wouldn’t affect the grown ups right? Wrong. Its worse. Our toys are different. Salaries, accomplishments and image take over. Your toys; bigger cars, newest gadgets and the prettiest ladies. Nothing wrong with that? I agree. But lets take a closer look for a moment.
You take a loan to buy a car so that you can be like the rest of your friends while your family struggles to make ends meet. You leave your husband and kids for another man because “You think you made a mistake”. You live a lie, to fit in! You want what everyone else has at whatever cost and you are ready to compromise anything to get it. You cant see what you already have because you want what you don’t have!
You get ulcers, you get high blood pressure, you get a stroke and your heart finally stops. It cant take it any more. We who are left, behind talk of the amazing toys you left behind. While you, you wonder if it was worth it after all. All moments you missed chasing after the next “new thing”. All the energy you spent gathering and protecting what “you owned” none of that matters anymore.
And there, as you lie there. It finally occurs to you. This is the same way you came. With nothing. There is nothing you can do. None of your toys can be traded for more time or more life. Nothing. Your kids say good bye to the stranger who lived in their house for a really long time and was kind enough to buy them a couple of good things. All you can take with you in exceeding measure is “what ifs”.
That,s not the end of the disease. Far from it. The rest of us go back to our toys and soon enough we are back on the fast lane. Looking out for number one. Acquiring the news gadget at the expense of the real deal; family, friends, societal impact. (Yeah that’s so 1912 right?)
What is madness I ask. You see it everyday. I do too. But what do I know anyway? I am just a Mad Man right?