Happy Holidays!

I awoke this morning, this “Black Friday”, at 4 a.m.  Not to head out to the stores, rather to head in to work.  I turned on the local talk station, as I do every morning, to find out what has transpired since yesterday and what will be happening later on today.

The very first thing I heard this morning was stories of people getting in fights, assaulting cops and each other, getting arrested, tased, maced and shot in altercations at stores last night.

There is a certain irony to the fact that on the day we set aside to reflect and be grateful for the things we have, we go out and commit felonies trying to acquire more things.  We sit around a table, many of us will hold hands and pray, and we eat more than several days worth of food for the average third world individual.  Then we watch football, drink, argue with relatives we haven’t seen since last year, and pass out on the couch.  Later, we rise from the couch, don our heavy winter jacket and head out to the Walmart (Macy’s, Kohl’s, whatever).  We join a sea of people, most of whom have also engaged in the traditions earlier in that day.  And then we, as adults, as role models for our children, see a T.V. on sale, and assault the people in front of us in an attempt to grab it.

Should you happen to make it through the melee and actually depart the store with your prize, there will, in some places, be someone in the parking lot waiting to steal it from you.

Then, if you can make it home without having an accident, you can stuff your prize in the closet, sneak in to your kids bedroom to kiss them on the head, and go to sleep with a smile on your face… thinking about the woman you elbowed in the electronics section and the guy you tripped on the way through hardware.  Yessir!  You maneuvered your way through those crowds with the grace and style of O.J. Simpson!  Unfortunately, you also displayed his character in the process.

And what have you gained?  You bought some off brand, piece of shit T.V. that will blow up in 3 months, for $200 less than the name brand T.V. that has been working without a hitch in my living room for the last 7 years.  No returns.  No exchanges.  No extended warranty.  And you will be sitting there, still broke, with a broke T.V. in a few months, bitching about how you got ripped off.

You will never pause to consider the fact that perhaps the reason you don’t have nice things is because you make stupid decisions.  And when you bitch about the way society is going, or “what’s wrong with kids these days?”, it will never occur to you that YOU are part of the problem.

People ask, “How was your Thanksgiving?”  Mine was the same as any other day.  The wife was at work, the kids were with the ex-wife.  Mom and sister are on the other side of the country.  Dad isn’t worth visiting.  So I slept late (woke up at 6 a.m.), and sat around playing video games and talking to the others in my gaming group who had nowhere to go and nothing to do.  I didn’t check the newspaper, or clip any coupons, or seek out any deals.  I will simply go online and order the gifts I want, at whatever the price is at the moment I am viewing it, and move on with my life.

So no… I didn’t “give thanks” yesterday.  I also didn’t assault anyone or demean myself.  So I guess I’ll call it even.

26 more days to go before the most commercialized day of the year!  Where the notion that it is better to give than to receive is openly mocked.

Happy Holidays!!

 

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3 responses to “Happy Holidays!

  1. While I share your disdain for the whole “Black Friday” nonsense and the intense commericialization of what should be a time of reflection and charity towards each other, I choose to remember what is highlighted by the news is the exception more than the rule. The minority engaged in acts of violence. Many more people engaged in acts of charity, shared meals with friends and family, and spent the holiday peacefully. We do not hear about that because it makes for lousy ratings– how boring it is to hear about people conducting themselves like reasonable folk (but that is a topic for a different rant, I suppose).

    If I were to focus only on the worst of things, day after day, I would find myself angry, frustrated, and depressed much of the time. Perhaps it is a matter of ability– perhaps the good cannot be seen by some? I would not wish for us all to never see the bad…it is important to have balance. My point is that what we feed, grows. The more we “feed” negative, the more negative we will see, feel, and experience. My caring for you makes me desire for you to experience love, peace, and happiness— and I fear you will have little of those as long as you are only able to see the thorns and never the roses.

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    • I see the roses. In fact, I plant them.

      But I fear that in general we are in a very dangerous place as a nation. We have lost much of our culture, our morality, our sense of community, citizenship, and a whole host of other things. We have, in large part, entered in to an every man for himself mentality. As evidenced by things like the Black Friday shenanigans…and the Obama phone girl.

      I am not solely focused on the precipice. I am in fact not normally focused on it. I do however, highlight it for others, because many among us have very short memories.

      You are of course correct. But it is far too late for me to simply “think happy thoughts” and turn my life around. I have a role. I am well suited for it.

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