The Toy Claw

April 21, 2021

When I was a little kid, I somehow bought a toy robot claw. You might be familiar with this one because I feel like it’s been around for decades. It makes a little rachet sound to simulate a robot noise. I used to terrorize my sisters with the claw, because it’s basically a mechanical pincher. It even used to get confiscated from me.

Years later, my mom realized that it is useful for grabbing hard to reach items. So the claw got a new lease in life as an assistive tool around the house. Last year my youngest niece asked for the claw, and I was reluctant to let it go. In keeping with how kids typically treat cheaply made items, and in concert with her sisters, the claw was broken before they even left the property.

I was a little upset because it had sentimental value, but I also knew that we got our money’s worth from that thing. Not long after, my mom found a new claw exactly like it in a toy store. It blew my mind that whatever factory made the original claw still is producing them from what appears to be the exact same tools.

It made me think about the value we attach to things in life – on one hand the original claw had all these memories stored with it, and on another hand it was pretty much replaceable in terms of serving its use. By a similar token we might get attached to experiences we’ve had with certain people or places, and another level we can always have new experiences that match or surpass them.

Would it be healthy for me to be attached to the original toy claw for the rest of my days, or is it more beneficial to let it go as fast as it was broken and allow new replacements to come in?

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