Slinkys. Just about everybody has one. Think. When was the last time you saw one of these? Can you even remember? Maybe not. These little guys are so timeless they blend into the background, but odds are, there’s always one not far away.
A few weeks ago I went into a panic because I couldn’t find mine. I thought, “Really? I know I have one somewhere!” It turns out, it had become a cup holder on my desk. I had been storing my numerous flash drives there for months! It was right in front of my face and I thought I had lost it…
But this got me thinking, that’s not necessarily bad. On some subconscious level I made a point to keep it around. And why not? I have some good memories with that Slinky! When I was a kid, wind suit pants were dangerously popular (or they were hideously out of style and Mom just bought them anyway?). They were fantastically friction-free, so I would slid down the stairs on my caboose with them quite often. Sometimes I would race my Slinky down the stairs, of course I always won, but that’s one of those memories that has always stuck with me. I mean, what other toy can move like that? I have 3 siblings, but I played with that thing all the time. Other than the strange smell it leaves behind on your hands, it’s golden. Metaphorically speaking.
The Slinky was first introduced in the early 1940s. The creator made sure they were affordable for everyone, because there shouldn’t be a price on playtime. Can we take a moment to appreciate how AWESOME that is?? Obviously, the 1940s were a tough time for everyone, but today Slinky remains an affordable toy. Did the Slinky sell out? Do they walk and talk and have built Wi-Fi? No sir.
In other words, the Slinky is the inanimate embodiment of everything I love about toys. They’re simple and fun. Sure they get tangled from time to time, but will it go up in smoke if it falls in the bathtub? Are there any little pieces you might lose? Any assembly required? Nah. (But a killer staircase is nice.)
There is a lot that can be learned from the Slinky. It is flexible, resilient, timeless. It adapts, stretches, but most importantly, it bounces back. It’s powered by its own momentum. What a beautiful metaphor. What poetry.
So be a Slinky in everything you do.