Is the Mantra “I Wantra?”

by Robyn Justo — When I was a wee bit past two years old, Mom took me back East to visit relatives. We had a short layover in St. Louis so we stayed on the plane. It was hot and humid and although I was sitting on the floor, happily occupied with dipping my French fries in milk, I suddenly ripped off my little tee shirt and screamed, “ARE YOU PEOPLE TRYING TO THUFFICATE ME???” An obvious Disney inspired lisp compliments of Sylvester and Daffy.

The stew asked Mom if I was really two with such an advanced vocabulary and she turned red realizing she was fudging a bit, but nodded yes. If that happened today, we might have been yanked from the aircraft, me being pointed and scowled at for being a milk-moustached mini-terrorist.

But babies ask questions. Lots of them, with most starting with why, where, how, sometimes loudly, embarrassing their parents.

Why is the sky blue? Why am I small? How do birds fly? Who am I? Where did I come from? The innocent inquiries came first. Then desire kicks in and it’s over and the questions turned into demands and we learned to manipulate to get what we wanted We got louder and typically got attention on a plane or elsewhere, and we often got the thing that we wanted (and sometimes a spank when it was legal.)

“I want the pretty colored magically delicious cereal! I want a pony! I want a new Barbie! I don’t want to go to bed now! I want to go to the moon! “(Side note here. I’m sure Dad would have gladly offered to send me there many times.)

The years pass, and the desires change. I want a latte. I want a new shampoo. I want that cute shirt at Ross.

So I wonder. Am I just a needling, a being with incessant wants and desires? Is this all there is to life? Is it all about acquisition? Even when we really don’t want something, we are told that we should. It’s a program and it works. We should want to look cute. We should want good hair. We should drink lattes because that makes us cool. We should want a life-size Ken doll. We should want more.

It’s a catch-and-release game. It’s what we do. Then we end up with so much that we need to find extra places to store it all or we give it away, throw it away, sell it, consign it, or divorce it. Or sometimes we discover something that we didn’t even know we had (in my case I forgot-I-bought-it.)

It’s all the mighty temptation of the temporary (also sometimes referred to as the economy.) I wonder why we are so fascinated with it and why we just keep on doing it, over and over and over, still thinking that it will meet our requirements for whatever sustenance we are sorely lacking. Maybe time to figure out that the Santa bag has a hole in it.

Why am I suddenly feeling like I want to rip off my tee shirt? No, I don’t need a new one from Ross because I’m overwhelmed and thufficated as it is (or more aptly stufficated.) Isn’t there a replicator somewhere where we can put it all back to be etherically disintegrated and recycled? Hmmm, there appears to be one for these little bodies of ours.

Is there ever a point when we inquire within instead of continuing to acquire without? Where are “we” beneath all of this stuff or is this some kind of trick to get us to stop asking questions or perhaps keep us all from realizing that we are just as temporary as all of the stuff we seem to think we need or want? It’s the twuth (Tweety would say.)

Back to the basic baby questions for me, from the acquiry to the inquiry. Who am I and where did I come from? Seems like better food for thought than Fruit Loops.

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