Monday, January 14, 2013

I am suspicious

Mole was content with the little that he owned: one small home, one bed, one pillow, one shelf for books and one cup for tea, along with a taste for simple pleasures, such as spooking birds and peeking into caves.  Then one day his friend Emerson visits for tea and plants the seed of dissatisfaction.  When they realize there are two of them and only one teacup, Emerson says:

"You need more, Mole."

And Mole, instead of feeling secure and confident in his simple life, listens to his friend: "Maybe," thought Mole, "I don't have very much after all," and then he sets off in search of all that Everything he's been missing out on.

Fast-forward in the story to the moment Mole arrives home and has to find a way to get all of the Everything to fit inside his small house.  "It wasn't easy," but Mole comforts himself with the thought that "at least I have everything." 

And then, what do you think happens next?  This part I loved especially:
"In the days and nights that followed, "everything" took up almost all of Mole's time."

No more time to peek into caves or spook birds, Mole becomes consumed with sorting and dusting and tidying all his new stuff. 

Until the day when Mole sets up a "Free" sign and gives it all away, with the exception of one single teacup, so that he and Emerson can finally enjoy a cuppa, together.

It is not too much of a leap to guess that the author's target audience may well be the parent-readers, though I suppose children need the message reinforced as much as possible.  "Mommy, that billboard ad about chocolate milk reminds me how much I want chocolate milk" said my [utterly transparent] six-year old.  Lordhavemercy.
Beware the lure of storing up material goods, right?  It's a good reminder to be guarded around any Emersons who might mean well, but end up inadvertently contributing to an unhealthy preoccupation with things.  But think about it: what did Emerson even do?  All he did was to give Mole an idea, a thought, and Mole did the rest all on his own. 
Our minds, too, and not just our homes, have a limited holding capacity.  The human mind can only hold so much, and unlike a building it needs rest and nurturing care.  It is fragile.

I remain suspicious of the need for "more" everything---more anything.  Because having more just might hurt me, and hurt my mind.  My children--and I--deserve better than simply a chance to enjoy nice things.

Today I am feeling awfully suspicious.  I am suspicious of greed: I suspect that it causes mental damage. 

1 comment:

  1. I have been thinking about this post a lot, especially this part: "Our minds, too, and not just our homes, have a limited holding capacity. The human mind can only hold so much, and unlike a building it needs rest and nurturing care. It is fragile."

    It reminds me of Chrysostom's assertion that people who are "in the world" have an especially strong need to pay attention to scripture. The human mind has a limited capacity, and the busier we are, the more we are filling it with stuff that just might do lasting damage.

    So thank you for this.