Snibbles, Anything for Snibbles
The stuff you think you need

Did they tell you that big joke too? The one about needing money so that you can buy everything you would ever need? And did you 'buy' it? I guess, as all of us, the thing you want most of all is love, happiness and joy, maybe topped off with a cream of good health. So have you got all that yet? Or are you still working hard to get enough money first?

Deep beneath the surface they lived. 'Smaggles' they were called and they sure were a funny bunch. They looked perhaps a bit like us but they smelled like sweat and were dirty because all they ever wanted to do was work. Yes, they worked. Digging for snibbles, that's all they really did. They only stopped to eat and sleep but as soon as they woke up, off again they went.

Now for any innocent bystander, unfamiliar with the Smaggle way of life, this may sound a bit surprising but, believe it or not, that's just how it was. Digging for snibbles was all the Smaggles cared about and getting as many snibbles as possible was their highest goal. The only Smaggles who didn't constantly dig for snibbles were the 'caretakers' but that's only because they had no time. The 'caretakers' as the word says, had to take care of the other Smaggles. They were the ones who made the food, repaired the clothes, did the cleaning, provided shelter for the night ... and although they worked just as hard as the other Smaggles, they weren't considered equals because they weren't digging for snibbles.

Yes, the caretakers were the lowest you could fall within the Smaggle community. Oh they weren't poor, mind you, not in the real sense of the word. First they had all the food they wished for and as far as clothing and shelter were concerned they didn't have to worry either. Furthermore they got paid for the job they did. A long time ago, the Upper Smaggle Council had decided that all work had to be rewarded and ever since that day, the caretakers received three snibbles a day for the work they did.

The caretakers however weren't very pleased with this situation. They considered their work to be underrated and said they ought to receive more snibbles. They looked at the other Smaggles and saw how they all had more snibbles and well, I think that some of the caretakers were just a bit jealous.


Now before jumping to any conclusions, you should understand that this is just how things were in the Smaggle world. The Smaggles weren't an unfair bunch, it's just that the caretakers' job wasn't rated as high as the diggers'. The diggers in turn had less than the supervisors. Come to think of it, the diggers weren't all that pleased either because they had to give half of their dug up snibbles to the supervisors. And the supervisors? Well, believe it or not, they were the most unhappy of them all, always quarrelling, always fearing that another supervisor would have a "faster digger " working for him, or worse still, several faster diggers!

And so it happened that most all Smaggles were unhappy with their own situation and always wanted to have just a few more snibbles than the amount they had. Not that any of them was in any real need of extra snibbles. No, most of them, it must be said, had all they really needed. It is just that, whenever a Smaggle saw that his neighbor had more snibbles, well ... then that would always look like a perfect reason to want more snibbles too.

That's how it was in the Smaggle world. That's how it had always been and that's how it would still be today had not an ordinary digger-smaggle stood up one day and asked this simple question, "What do we need all these snibbles for anyway?"

At first the other Smaggles were a little shocked by this question. To dare question the very essence of their existence, they said. To put into question what the Smaggle-world was all about. But this particular digger-smaggle just kept on repeating it's question "What do we need all these snibbles for?" he kept on asking, "What do they bring us? Beyond the food, the shelter and the clothing, it is the things we really need and pay for with snibbles, what do these snibbles bring us?"

The other Smaggles didn't really have an answer to that question as they had never been taught to think about these matters. They felt a bit uneasy with the situation and just preferred to keep on working.

But the little digger persisted, "What do you want to do with all this excess of snibbles? Get more food then you can eat? Buy more clothes than you need? Build bigger shelters to sleep in? Isn't the one you have now cozy enough? Aren't the clothes you are wearing warm enough? Or are you hungry when you go to sleep at night?"

One of the supervisors who no doubt felt threatened, thought it time to bring this whole charade to a stop and said, "The snibbles bring stability to our community. They provide us with everything we need and more even. As everybody knows, the more snibbles you have, the more security you have, the more joy, the more happiness too."

The little digger-smaggle looked at the supervisor in surprise. "Is that really what the extra snibbles bring us? Are you then any happier than any of the diggers working for you ... or do you feel more joyful then even the poorest of your caretakers? Do you even feel more secure?"


The supervisor felt a bit uneasy by these questions as he knew he wasn't feeling happier, more joyful or secure then any of the other Smaggles. "On the contrary even", said some of the spectators who by then had gathered around.

"Most of us indeed are in search for joy, happiness and even a feeling of security," the little digger said, "but these are exactly the things that snibbles do not provide. Worse even, the snibbles tend to lead us away from it. Look around and tell me. What have these snibbles brought you so far?"

By now quite a number of Smaggles had gathered around to listen to what the little digger had to say and as they listened, they looked at their own lives and realized the little digger was right. What did they really want from life? And could 'more' snibbles provide it?

From that day on, the question rose ever stronger in all the Smaggle minds ... and so it happened that, one day, the Smaggles decided once again to call together the Great Smaggle Council to answer the following question:

"Why do we work so hard, just to gather snibbles? They bring no joy, no love, no happiness ... Clearly they do not bring ... the things we really need."

The wizard looked up at the sun.
"It's getting late, my boy. We'd better move on, now there is still some light."

"What? Right now?" Shaoni muttered. "At least tell me how the story ends first. Did they find out? I mean, the Smaggles, did they find out?"

"Oh that. Well, you see Shaoni, that's really another story. The essence here, is that they started thinking about it."

Aneola paused for a moment, pensive, then he said:

"Imagine what would happen if we all started wondering what we really want from life. Not the things we think we want ... but the things we really want! Wouldn't that be something?"

Shaoni looked at the wizard with a gaze in his eyes.
"The things we really want?" he wondered ... but decided not to ask.

Later that evening

Later that evening, when all had gone quiet and a blanket of peace had unfolded over the world, the wizard came up to the boy and said ...

"All of your life, my boy, people have told you what to do, what to think and how to behave. They have even told you what to expect and wish for in life.

So now, many of us think we know what we want ... but do we?

You look for knowledge Shaoni, as everybody has always told you that you need knowledge to succeed in life. But what is knowledge without wisdom?

You ask for respect and power because you have been taught that power and respect are needed to stay in charge. But are they really?

You ask for money because you have been told that only money will buy you the things you need. But when you look around, at those bathing in money ... are they any happier?

Find out what you want from life, Shaoni. Do you want knowledge ... or wisdom? Do you want power ... or love? Do you want to bathe in money ... or in joy? Often Shaoni, you will see that, if you go for the second, you get the first choice with it, for free!"

Shaoni leaned backwards, closing his eyes. That was something he had to think about