Given name, family name. Necessity is the mother of invention. It turns out that ‘Invention’ was adopted. Without a mother,Invention showed great panache in adapting. The grand mother of ‘Necessity’ was ‘Deprivation’. Todeprive a human being is the lowest form. A cruel grandmother is the stuff of many a scary bed timestory and the beginning of genetics as a field of study and also some concern.‘Conservative’ was a second child who envied his brother ‘Optimism’. Optimism was often dropped onhis head as a child and as a consequence experienced visions. Conservative on the other hand was jealous of his brother as he too had often been dropped, but only on his ass. He drew only badconclusions from this.‘Depravity’ was a middle child neither ruffled by the expectations mothering bestows on a first babe,nor the forgetful anguish and freedom bestowed on the last. Depravity never did much with his lifeexcept prove the moral tales to be untrue and merely life lengthening. Corrupt though he was, he partied a lot and experienced a myriad of sexual encounters. As long as he didn’t stay at your place or you didn’t lend him money it was OK - He lived only to please himself. He could be talked into doing just about anything, if sufficient adventure were in it for him. Depravity could be surprising fearlessand at times more than a little stupid. His death was premature and the details of it suppressed in thenewspapers in the interests of public decency.The longest lived of all the little children was ‘Temerity’. Temerity was best friends with ‘Sincerity’and for a while with ‘Honesty’. There was always a right time and place for Honesty; but more oftenthen not she was in the wrong place or at the wrong time and a real pain.Sincerity on the other hand was consistent; neither time nor place convoluted her – she was true toevery moment. But as she grew up Temerity became the longest and fullest lived of her immediatecircle. Similar to Honesty, Temerity could be a really disruptive and inconvenient at times, but unlikeHonesty she was always rash, flagrant, and full of cheek. If you took the time to get to know her,Temerity had a highly redeemable character. Honesty suffered from an adherence to the facts thatverged on petty.Temerity had her close circle of friends and despite her antagonist leanings, in time had only oneenemy, her arch rival ‘Harmony’. Harmony was articulate, funny, self-effacing and helpful to thesmaller children, but only when such measures proved socially reputable. If any activity occurred in thesocial realm Harmony had to be involved. She simply loved the company of others, even though sheoften dedicated as much effort to partaking in unspoken feuds and playing favourites, as she did in being a part of people’s lives. One day Honesty and Harmony got into a fight. Temerity caughtHarmony secretly beating the snot out of Optimism in the corner of a room.Harmony, in a somewhat self-congratulatory tone had earlier announced that
“I have to be the most genuine of everybody I know, because I know the greatest number of people, if not well, at least favourably. As a friend I am the living epitome of ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ concept.
Overhearing this and caught up in the bright, happy air that she had said it in Optimism couldn’t help but be swept up in complete agreement with her and thus added
“Yes! Let’s hope one day the on-the-surface, socially-efficient manner that you use to avoid conflict and maintain consensus by keeping people ‘in their place’ catches on. First, one-on-one talk can be phased out, and eventually communication as a
hole can be brought do
n. No media, no opinion -the globe can become an entirely visual medium. No emotion, no fear, no love, just “approval” or “disapproval” and an endless set of costume changes!”
Pressing Optimism into a tight little corner far from the eyes and ears of the majority, Harmony proceeded to beat the living out of him. Temerity, seeing a look of completely betrayed shock andmurderous vengeance in Harmony’s eyes that she hadn’t seen before, did what she did best andIntervened; she only had to say.
“In a guilt culture the emphasis is on the individual to experience ‘racks of bad feeling’ all by their own volition. In a shame culture the threat of ostracism is the determining moral factor. But either wayone day you’ll realise you have to “Make the most of your regrets. . . To regret deeply is to liveafresh”.(Henry David Thoreau).