When does a package delivery result in deep introspection?
Two packages arrived in the mail recently. They made me very happy!
Here is the bigger box, opened up. Even though I have an idea of what I've been sent, I am so delighted.
Now that the packing materials have been removed, I can see the actual contents!
I couldn't resist stacking everything into one big column!
And the long thin box contained a gaming mat:
Now, I know that I am a lucky man. I have lots of minis, and people keep sending me more. Sometimes I pay for them, sometimes I get free samples, sometimes I make a swap of some kind. However, truth be told, I think my happiness is the same whether I'm receiving a large box or a small box!
Joy & Happiness
Which led me to thinking: why do minis give me such happiness, and where does the difference lie between happiness and joy?
In my faith – and I think this is common among many belief systems and philosophies – there's a distinction between happiness, which is a temporary emotion of lower importance, and joy, which is the feeling achieved at the pinnacle of the good life, in the midst of family and at one with deity.
Now, I know that minis are minor in the grand scheme of things, yet I cannot deny that they make me very happy. Way at the top level of happiness.
So I've been pondering about why.
I wonder if minis don't somehow trigger childhood memories of receiving toys, and so carry with them feeling of happy times with family in yesteryears? Or memories of times when I was little and life was simple?
Or is it something deep and psychological? My parents were middle class, and I certainly didn't lack in the basics. However, my parents were children of the Great Depression, and spending money on 'toys' was not seen as very important. Every Christmas and birthday I would compile My List of Toys I Wanted, but what I would actually get would be a few toys, somewhat similar to what I requested, but at a more practical price point!
One thing my family loved was playing games together. When I was a young teenager, I suddenly took notice of certain 'adult level' games in the stores – they were called 'bookshelf' games, some from a company called Avalon Hill. I pointed them out to my parents, but they didn't seem to understand why I would need anything like that…
So could my happiness at receiving minis have something to do with frustrated desires as a child or in my youth? I'm really not sure.
Or could it just be that I'm still a child at heart?
On some deep intellectual or spiritual level, I realize that I would be fine if all my minis disappeared tomorrow, that minis have little to do with the purpose of my life or my self-worth or my achieving nirvana. In fact, sometimes they get in the way of my higher goals. It's important to maintain balance.
But minis sure make me happy!