The Illustration Friday word of the week is toy.
It must have been an American who coined the phrase, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” We of this large western continent are notorious for our passions for pretty much anything that is bigger, newer, stronger, more prestigious or more powerful. Whether it be cars, houses, degrees, bank accounts, lovers, clothes, electronics, Old Master paintings, or the latest technology in bomb-making, Americans as a whole, rank far above the rest of the world’s population in this ego-driven, better than/less than game.
It is a sad state of affairs, and surely not the best use of our human and natural resources? Even if you’ve managed to acquire most of these things, you may have begun to suspect that this “winning” is not all it’s cracked up to be…
Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with a toy, which Merriam-Webster defines as “an amusement, a diversion.” Most of us definitely need our diversions from Life, and we also need the things that bring us pleasure. But it is the wrong use of a toy, of which I write. In our humanness, it is all-too-easy to use our stuff…or even our knowledge…to feel just a wee bit superior, to bolster that frail monster within all of us: the Ego.
Several years ago, I came across an old elementary school report card amongst fading photos that my parents had saved. I don’t recall the many so-quaint categories that a child was judged upon years ago, but one stands out clearly in memory: “Plays well with others.” Was it only a desire for classroom order that we were being graded upon…or something deeper we were being asked to learn? Judging by the state of today’s world, this is not a criteria that seems to have survived very well in the rarified atmosphere of Adult Life.
Play from the heart is important: it connects us to others, and it connects us to ourselves. Play nice.
More toy quotes can be found here.
“Mermaid” (acrylic on multi-media board)
The deadline for the Anniversary Giveaway is April 1st. Read the post and enter the drawing here.