Somewhere in this great big world of ours (in this case China) stands a factory churning out ceramic ducks by the truckload. The duck depicted is a superior example of the hundreds of ceramic ducks I’ve seen over the years. You may well have one of your very own. Most of the ceramic ducks I’ve seen at yard sales, garage sales, rummage sales and even those big-box retail chain stores where they came from are an exercise in mass produced crap.
Yes. Crappy Craftsmanship. Most of the ceramic ducks I’ve ever seen were of embarrassingly crappy workmanship. Of course crappy is relative. Some’s better than others.
But let us explore the general utility of the ceramic duck. The one depicted is a planter – obviously a presentation gift. While it is well made and of superior quality as ceramic ducks go, it has a built-in limitation; that is to say: it is an indoor duck. If I were to leave it outdoors it would collect rain – the rain (or moist soil if used as intended) would eventually freeze, expand and ultimately shatter the duck. I seriously doubt the profitability of raising crops in it, so it is, strictly speaking, a decorative, sentimental piece. Cute, but generally useless.
Whenever you pass a ceramic duck for sale just sitting there on a shelf, a question arises in your mind (or, at least, should):
“Do I need a ceramic duck?”
Generally speaking, and given the limited scope of a ceramic duck’s utility, the answer for most would be a resounding NO. No – nobody needs a damned ceramic duck (!!!) – with one exception: the guy who made it.
Nobody needs to buy a ceramic duck. Nobody needs to own one. In fact, you can live out the whole of your life without ever having had one. But the guy, or rather the people, who design, manufacture and market them need to sell them in order to participate in economic life. Money is sometimes called currency – it is intended to flow. Money flows one way and goods and services flow the other and by selling his ceramic duck he is then able to secure those things which are indeed utilitarian and even necessary to sustain life.
So, in answering the question “Do I need a ceramic duck?” In a round-about, symbolic, analogical manner, yes, you do indeed need a ceramic duck. In fact, every man needs his ceramic duck. In order to participate in economic life one must first have either goods or services to sell in order to, secondarily, buy.
Looked at in the light of cold logic, business is mostly busyness – the buying and selling of crap you don’t really need in order to survive.
I say that every man needs his ceramic duck. Every man needs some kind of (tangible) goods or (intangible) services to provide; to sell in order to buy. I say every man because virtually every woman is born with a ceramic duck. She already has something to trade. We ought to prioritize our thinking accordingly therefore.
My ceramic duck was stolen a long time ago and it nearly killed me.