Thursday, February 17, 2011

are you a dummy?

(No, the picture isn't really correlated to the blog title. I was just playing around today while the kids were playing around and I liked Sprout's expression.)

I have a lot on my mind lately, but it doesn't feel like the stuff to share indiscriminately (with my handful of occasional readers) or like stuff I just want to have "out there," so I've not said much here lately. I also spend most of my online time working, so there's that, too. But one quote that keeps running through my mind is this exchange from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, the movie, as I haven't confirmed that the same passage is in the book.

Grandpa George: There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket-- There are only 5 of them in the whole world, and that's all there's ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?
Charlie: No, sir.
Grandpa George: Then get that mud off your pants. (gives 2 thumbs up) You've got a factory to go to!

A couple of weeks ago I listed to an episode of This American Life called The Invention of Money which was really interesting. I've also been thinking about how most (if not all) of what seems necessary and normal by our standards and expectations is completely fabricated. We are so shaped by our experiences that we really believe that life is the way we think it is, that to be a human means what it means to us. The human experience has changed drastically (I can't even think of a strong enough word) in the last 200 years. The abundance of information and communication is mind boggling. I don't really have anything profound to say about that, but there has to be something to figuring out the true "essentials" for your own life.


Whitney said...

I know which line you are speaking of- but had not really thought of it in other situations...You are right, what really is important? (and I am not saying that there is nothing important) The first thing that came to my mind were my children, as there are only one of each of them in all the world. Thank you for the thought/perspective; it is certainly an interesting topic to ponder.

R and R said...

More and more I believe that "abundance" comes from having less and appreciating it. Having too much might have the tendency to dull appreciation and the richness associated with that.

I recall living in that two bedroom condo while our house was being built and realizing how few distractions there were (cleaning, hobbies, etc.) because we just had no room for them. We were close together ALL THE TIME. It was good. We actually toyed with the idea of staying there.

Cherie said...

We've been thinking about this a lot lately! Especially with everything going on in the world.... does it really matter what "things" you have? There are people without food and water everywhere, all the time, and yet we squabble over money and things. What good is it all in the end? I don't know, it's very interesting to see what you really need. I like "R and R"'s statement. It is a truly beautiful thing to have less and appreciate it. Simplifying really is quite the avenue to happiness... who knew? I certainly didn't until recently! Honestly though, it seems like the more connected you are with the things around you (people, land, your food i.e. vegetables/animals etc), the better perspective you have on what really matters.

Anyway, thanks for the additional thoughts! It's nice to know that others ponder these things too :-)