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Stamping Out Greed

Posted by Dirck on 24 October, 2013

Greed, humanity’s longtime companion and one of the prime motivators of human misery.  It seems to be the ground from which most of the other capital sins spring (you have to stretch a little to get Sloth in– “Greed to naps” is not persuasive).  The thing I was off yesterday making redundant noise about has greed in its fabric.  Everyone feels it, now and again, whether it comes in the form of “Why shouldn’t I have this other doughnut?” or “Why should I pay taxes on my nine figure income?”  If I were in an other setting, I’d probably get into corporations and environmental degradation, but I’ll leave off at mere mentions.

When getting a couple of letters ready for mailing yesterday, I felt an eminently silly manifestation of covetousness rising up in me.  I had trouble getting the stamps onto the envelopes, because they were mine and I wanted them forever.

This wasn’t based on the cost of the stamps, even though it was a pair of overseas letters– just shy of four whole dollars in postage!  Rather, it was the stamps as objects, regardless of the monetary value, that had me in a brief daze of avarice.  Canada Post does a bang-up job of offering diverse stamps— it may be part of whats behind all this noise about their financial worries, having to set up loads of presses every couple of months– because the runs of their interesting stamps tend to be fairly short, a regular… well, a willing correspondent such as myself finds the supply of any given stamp dwindles quite briskly.  Greed, in its most senseless form, cries out to hang onto them, as no more can be got!

Canada Post’s habits make more sense than the Canadian Mint’ regular production of rather interesting and hang-onto-able coins, if I can digress a little from my point.  Stamps aren’t quite the representative of national capital that coins are, and I find myself wondering at the effect vis à vis inflation of being encouraged to hang onto piles of quarters and dollar coins not because they’ll ever be worth more than their face value but just because they’re decorative– doesn’t it devalue a currency to constantly issue more of it?

Actually, when I say in digressing from my point, I’m wrongly suggesting that I have a point.  As is common here, it’s a mere observation of a moment of weakness.  A more than usually silly one, too.  I’m long out of the habit of philately, but I understand that there’s only a point to collecting stamps if they’ve been circulated.  A pile of stamps lying in a drawer is no more than a squared-off, sticky-backed equivalent of some abandoned pocket change.

Not necessarily small change, of course.

Not necessarily small change, of course.

I overcame my grasping aspect in the end. I remind myself that the point of getting festive stamps is to send them away.  Apart from the mere proof of postage being paid, they’re meant to brighten the day of the recipient.  I have certainly found my day brightened by the receipt of stamps from the US, England, Slovenia, Austria, Indonesia and even Australia (pictures of wildlife are much less venomous than the real thing).  Unlike certain prime ministers I could mention, the stamps I send go forth to enhance the world’s opinion of my nation and increase the global level of Happy, something they can’t do sitting in a heap in my desk.  It’s not going to save the world, but it’s still worth doing.  And that’s why I totally wrecked this souvenir strip:

superstamps

Yes, we do claim some interest in Superman, via Joe Shuster. I understand he’s a citizen of the world these days, anyway.

Today’s pen: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink: Pelikan Brilliant Black 

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