Mistaken Identity

By Kerri Romeo

The White Rabbit is back, and he is running late…  

`The Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers! She’ll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are ferrets! Where can I have dropped them, I wonder?” ~ The White Rabbit (from Alice in Wonderland, Chapter IV)

Always eager to help, Alice begins searching on her own accord for the gloves and fan the White Rabbit had dropped earlier and has him frantic now.  But in his haste, the White Rabbit mistakes Alice for his housemaid and he demands that she go fetch his gloves and fan.  Having learned to respect authority, Alice jumps to follow his direction (never correcting his error) and her search shifts from an act of kindness to a sense of duty that she is afraid to fail at. 

“But I’d better take him his fan and gloves–that is, if I can find them.” ~ Alice

If the objective is the same, does the change in motivation matter?  

A corporate driven society, the one politicians are hell-bent on perpetuating, has too many of us fearing failure and authority at all costs, including our physical and mental health and the sustainability of lower class communities.  If you ask anyone what the purpose of work is, the most common answer would be financial survival for the lower classes or financial success for the upper classes (promoting competition, consumerism and materialism as toxic byproducts).  

If you ask a business owner what the objective of a business is, the obvious answer would be money and profit.  But are these the most effective purposes?  Are there values deeper than the dollar with a higher return?  When the pandemic shined a spotlight on essential workers (ie – the White Rabbit’s housemaid) were they rewarded or did we just spread more empty words of gratitude, scream at them in stores for being short on supplies or in the streets outside of hospitals and continue to bail out corporations?  Actions speak louder than words. 

Politicians instead prefer to tout the benefit of trickle down economics.  But it seems the only trickle down effect of a society like this is one of stress; The rabbit fears the Duchess and Alice (as the housemaid) fears the rabbit.  While Alice does succeed at finding the rabbit’s fan and gloves, has the stress of it all gotten to her? 

Before delivering the items to the rabbit, Alice once again takes a sip from a bottle (this time throwing caution to the wind and not concerning herself if it is marked poison or not) hoping to grow up.  What is the price for growing up in a culture that values profit over people? One where we never feel fulfilled and are always looking for something more interesting?  What if our fear-based motivation has been affecting the outcome of our objective all along?  Do we think we have been succeeding where we have been failing?  Have we been mistaking our own identity?


Thinking outside the box, Jesse Crall shows us a society that understands who the true job creators are and how to shift power to the people who are creating value (rather than profit alone) in Job Creators & Pears

Victoria Lynn Hall reminds us where real power lies.


Kerri spends her days as an office administrator for a ballet barre manufacturer and her free time playing frisbee with her dog in NJ.  Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others.  She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.

Published by Kerri Romeo

Kerri spends her days as an office administrator for a ballet barre manufacturer and her free time playing frisbee with her dog in NJ. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others . She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.

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