Scallywag

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

~ Mark Twain ~

Mad As A March Hare

May 12th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 59 secs

Being mad as a March hare... er, rabbit.

Being mad as a March hare… er, rabbit.

What if I told you I was as mad as a March hare? Would you nod slightly to yourself and say, “I knew it”? Or would you be mildly surprised?

I don’t consider myself to be. But then, seeing as the term “as mad as a March hare” apparently refers to the odd antics of hares around March (at least in Europe) during the mating season. During this auspicious period, hares can apparently be seen boxing each other and exhibiting generally odd hare behavior.

So, in that context, perhaps I am about as mad as a March hare can be. After all, I tend to display odd behavior throughout the 365-day season. Though I wouldn’t even dream of boxing anyone, I still can be pretty silly. Yet, it seems to me that my madness is not that much stranger than pretty much everyone else (you included).

This tendency to use various colorful terms to describe our crazy ways arises, I believe, because matters of sanity and silliness fascinate us. Should someone be acting strangely, we label that behavior immediately. So, if we say someone is as mad as a March hare, we’ve labeled their behavior and put it safely into the “Boy is he weird or what?” category.

We do this because it helps us handle unpredictable and potential threatening endeavors. So labeling your very eccentric neighbor next door as “mad as a March hare” bolsters control of your social situation. While, those with a narrow experience of life will tend to do this more often – simply because so much of human behavior feels unfamiliar (strange) to them.

Folk in roles that deal with many people tend not to label others nearly as much. The same goes for those who have a deeper understanding of humanity in action. To them, my mad as a March hare manner would be seen as no more than tomfoolery or playful antics (like the sense of play in your behavior too).

Conditioned as we are to be sensible, the older we get the more profound the pressure becomes to be levelheaded and serious.  In my case, however, I find myself still playful, idiotic, and unwilling to be too solemn too often, lest I suddenly become overly serious for my own good.  During those times when my thoughtful side spars with my silly side, I do my mad as a March hare boxing thing, wrestling with myself to work out which part wins. Which leaves me wondering, “What about you? Which side of you keeps winning the upper hand?” I hope the happy hare in you is allowed out too, at least now and then, because she’ll do more than create wanton nonsense. She will also happily balance out the serious side of your life (and we all need that, don’t we?).

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