There are things that you don't want to lose in life. Your mind is certainly one of them. However, losing your keys is far worse. I know because I've lost both, and losing my keys was much more frightening. A fear so intense that it felt like a hand punched clean through my gut, ripping into my stomach, causing the acid to escape, pouring into my body cavity and burning the rest of my vital organs.
When I lost my keys, it was the loss of more than just shapes cut from a metal template: the key to my house; the key to my car; the key to my safe; and worst of all, the key to my bike lock. I had lost access to my life, but more accurately, the ability to live it. I could no longer get to my bed at night. Or take a drive in my car. My cherished belongings could no longer be locked in a fire and water proof box. No longer could I leave my bike outside without having to keep a close on eye it in the event that some heartless cad decided to take it.
When I lost my mind, I didn't feel my life come to a screeching halt. No, I just felt different. Life would go on and I knew it. In our society there is the common misconception that insanity brings with it an appetite for self-destruction and one's own feces. I have no such appetite. The cause of my insanity, however, could be attributed to being raised in a culture that worships too many gods. To say America is monotheistic is the same as saying things bring happiness. Sure on the surface this is true, but deep down, at the core—where it really matters—it becomes evident that such ideas are totally false.
Even if we limit the worship of multiple gods to the religions practiced in this country, the number of different gods worshipped by Christians is in the double-digit range. So many variations on what is essentially the same damn thing. But now if we were to widen our view, looking at everything worshipped by Americans, we will see a seemingly infinite number of things that Americans hold dear to their heart—and the operative word is things.
I'm guilty of this, but I've noticed a decline in my desire to keep up on the newest trends in things ever since I lost my mind. The things that I hold dear all have practical purposes. My iPod allows me to have all my music with me wherever I go. My bike satisfies my desire to travel fast and recklessly without getting a ticket for doing so. And my computer allows me to write and preserve my writing in a way that can't be destroyed as easily as notebook paper. Oddly enough, the loss of the most important thing—my mind—brought with it a strange sense of freedom. No more would I be bothered by the pesky chatter inside my skull. Instead, the chatter has been replaced by the whooshing sounds of wind, and that is quite relaxing.
Nevertheless, losing my mind may have helped me lessen the symptoms of the plague that is materialism, but I still suffer from it. After all, losing my keys was far more devastating than losing my mind. So now you probably understand my dilemma. I'm constantly struggling to overcome the cultural values that have been instilled in me. It is the need for things that I am constantly fighting against, but to be honest, it is not things that I have a problem with. It is the kind of things. "Things" is a very abstract term, which is why I will leave you with this ditty:
Think about all the things that aren't a regular part of your life, as well as the things that are. Think about these things and maybe then will those things leave or enter your life. Really, what I'm saying is: Think about things. The question you have to ask and answer is "What are things?" I mean, we all value things, but it's the kind of things that we value that define us, not things in general.