The character Mad Hatter as depicted in the famous Lewis Carrol book, Alice in Wonderland is enigmatic, puzzling and as the name suggests, insane.
The Mad Hatter became mad due to the prolonged exposure to chemicals used to create his hats. He loved making his hats, so passionate was he about his craft that he didn’t mind that he developed the hatter’s shakes, slurred speech and frequent hallucinations.
Outside of the fable book, there are Mad Hatters aplenty. Each and every one of them just as enigmatic, just as puzzling, and viewed by many to be just as insane. These are often the pioneers in their field. Braving the unknown territory armed with nothing but a firm conviction and bottomless enthusiasm.
We have the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Einstein, Donald Trump just to name a few. People who were told at least once in their lifetime, that they are absolutely mad!
In hindsight, we now know better. Now we model after their excellence. They are people that we hope to become one day if we just put in a little more elbow grease. But what of their earlier perceived ‘madness’? What have become of those very oddities? Well, they become traits to emulate, of course! Mantras to live by.
In his zany manner and offbeat logic, he mutters to Alice this famous line,
“You mean you can’t take less; it’s very easy to take more than nothing.”
He said this after telling Alice to take more tea when he discovered that she has not had any. He logically explains to her that she cannot possibly take less than nothing.
What makes this my favorite quote? In life, we are often hesitant to ask for more. Until we find ourselves in a situation where there’s nothing left to do but reach out and grab what is rightfully ours, this is the moment where the decision is made easy. The Mad Hatter said so – it’s easy to take more than taking nothing.
Mad Hatter possesses such uncanny common sense that it makes us feel foolish. We’re often so caught up with doing things bigger, better, newer, faster, that we overlook the most common of logic. The Mad Hatter reminds us to place equal weight on these simple things.
Kind of reminds of you another famous Mad Hatter doesn’t it? Wasn’t it Steve Jobs who said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
So when someone calls you mad, tip your hat and take it as a compliment. Because the world is created by madmen.