Despite being nearly 50 years old, there is still so much we can learn from Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Willy, a product of the American Dream, working to achieve the impossible. Hustle turning to madness.
“An air of dream clings to the place, a dream rising out of reality”. Dreams can be found everywhere. Dreams are natural and useful in navigating our way through life. But when a dream rises from reality, madness is around the corner. Once you have something concrete and real, you cannot then fantasise about it. If you wish for something more than what is obvious, you’re chasing the hopeless.
Willy becomes “tired to death”. Are we not always uttering this? Are we not tired to death? I say this weekly and I’m only twenty! We are dreaming too much. Thinking about what we want, more than appreciating what we have.
Linda reminds us of what is important. That our minds need to be rested. “Your mind is overactive, and the mind is what counts dear”. Without the mind rested and stable, the body cannot transport the mental to its goal. Perhaps our dreams need to be divided into stages. And after every small step, we need to rest and reward the mind. Otherwise, we will just be doing what Willy was doing; “spewing out the vomit from his mind”.
This may be why meditation, Stoicism and other forms of self care are surging. We are all trapped in one station, and the train is not transporting us anywhere closer to our dreams.
Or we are dreaming too hard. We have been distilled with false hopes that are just impossibilities. It seems that we are conditioned to be driven into madness. It is inevitable are mental health declines.
Because realistically we are “only a little boat looking for a harbour”. We just want stability. We don’t always want to be a millionaire who has achieved the impossible. We just want to be happy and stable. So why are we still dreaming? Hoping for something more. It’s like we’ve been programmed to always strive for something else, and not be content with what we have achieved.
“Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person”. You must pay attention to yourself. To all that you have already achieved. To how you are feeling. And once you feel happy and stable, then strive for something else. Then take another step closer to your dream. It’s a long tiresome process, but with care you’ll get there.