Monday, May 07, 2018

Do you want a limited special edition?

Two years ago, I posted a quote from Charlotte Mason on the benefits of owning a cherished, worthwhile collection of something, vs. the continual acquisition of mindless "collectibles." For some of us, a desire to "collect them all!" began with our first commercials for breakfast cereal (with toys), and moved on from there.
Buster Baxter (unwrapping a Christmas gift): Cool, it's CyberCod!
Bitzi: I'm sorry, Buster. We can return it.
Buster: (confused) Huh? Why?
Bitzi: Because you already have that one. See? (holds up a figure that looks similar, but decidedly not the same) I found it in your room right after I bought the other one.
Buster: That's TechnoTrout, Mom. He's very different. He has a speckled belly and he doesn't have CyberCod's kung-fu feet. (He demonstrates.)
Bitzi: Oh, thank goodness!
 (Arthur's Perfect Christmas)
In Goodbye, Things, Fumio Sasaki tells about a short-lived craze in Tokyo when the transit system offered a special anniversary edition pass. The card didn't offer any more benefits than a regular pass, but people still lined up for hours trying to get one. Sasaki decided to "pass" on it.

He also gives this very C.M.-resonant piece of advice: "Discard any possessions that you can't discuss with passion." Obviously, there are exceptions to this sparking-joy idea; many things are more functional than passion-provoking. But those things that we choose to keep around us, that we use to help tell our stories--they should have meaning.  And the worst offenders are things we keep because they make us appear trendy or intellectual or rich or cozily domestic. If we let them go, we might have to admit we're not any of those things. Big ouch.

What if we decided to detach, just a little more, from "collect them all?"

What if...we decided to be comfortably ourselves, and started to see the humourous side of our innocent but humbuggish attempts to "be somebody?"

Because each of us is, already, a limited special edition.

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