Wooden Puppets and Idiots
One of my favorite stories as a child was that of a wooden puppet carved by a puppet maker with a big heart. The wooden puppet came to life with human movements, a cute likable personality, and the desire to become a real boy. His mysterious blue angel granted the wish only when he proved brave, truthful, and unselfish. Easier said than done and yes, he lied, and as he did his nose grew. But the real story was as he became more boy-like (human) he turned to more lies and worse, the selfish pursuit of immediate satisfaction. This pursuit of false happiness lead him to a place called Pleasure Island where he and other boys had free access to all the beer, cigars, games, most of what their uncontrolled souls desired. As they consumed their pleasures they started turning into donkeys, or jackasses. After escaping the island as a boy puppet with donkey ears and a tail, he learns that his heart broken puppet maker dad had been eaten by a really large whale while searching for him. And yes, in the end, he saves them both from death.
Why is it that so many humans feel the need to partake on this selfish journey to pleasure island versus living a life worthy of being brave, truthful, and unselfish? I think selflessness exist but most have to fall prey first to the pursuit of the false narrative of happiness found in immediate gratification. The reality of happiness is that the sometimes unsexy sacrifices in life that defines the bond of human relationships is love.