Hol­i­day feel­ings all year?

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

This is tra­di­tion­ally the time of year when we count our bless­ings and share some of what we have with those less for­tu­nate. It is a spe­cial time of year, and it would be won­der­ful if all those kind words and ac­tions were con­tin­ued through­out the year and be­came a way of life.

If I were talk­ing to friends and ac­quain­tances, I’m vir­tu­ally cer­tain all would agree it is a nice idea, but they would also likely be­lieve it is un­re­al­is­tic. My ques­tion is, why? This year with all the con­tro­versy about our elected of­fi­cials, the need for car­ing for oth­ers — even those who don’t look like us or don’t share our view­points — is even more ob­vi­ous.

We are the peo­ple. The big-box stores and oth­ers who cash in on the hol­i­day sea­son pay lip ser­vice to the spirit of the sea­son. The en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try also sees the hol­i­days as a cash cow. Money and profit seems to take over and we, the con­sumer, pick up the tab. For many the sea­son is re­mem­bered by the monthly pay­ments that ex­tend long af­ter the hol­i­day sea­son is over. Very few em­ploy­ers close and give their em­ploy­ees a day off to cel­e­brate with their loved ones.

The worst part of the hec­tic hol­i­day sea­son is we fully par­tic­i­pate in the mad­ness in spite of what most of us say we be­lieve is the real mean­ing of the sea­son. With­out our par­tic­i­pa­tion there would be no in­cen­tive to have Black Fri­days, Su­per Satur­days and all the other gim­micks that have shop­pers camp­ing out all night in the cold and then come to the brink of killing each other over a bar­gain. We ef­fec­tively shoot our­selves in the foot.

The re­cent po­lit­i­cal theater has brought out the worst in many peo­ple and now the cho­rus is kiss and make up, but I se­ri­ously doubt if we will see per­fect har­mony in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and the state houses across the na­tion. Hope­fully the hos­til­ity will be tamped down a bit, but I’m not overly op­ti­mistic. Be­tween shop­ping, dec­o­rat­ing, en­ter­tain­ing, wor­ry­ing about how we will pay the bills, and the rest of the hol­i­day chaos most of us only get a glimpse of what the hol­i­days are re­ally about and sa­vor that brief mo­ment of hap­pi­ness and joy. Since we, col­lec­tively, by not par­tic­i­pat­ing in the an­nual may­hem can change what has be­come the norm.

If we like that warm and fuzzy feel­ing that touches our hearts, why don’t we work harder to keep it go­ing through­out the year? As the say­ing goes, “if it is to be, it is up to me.”

The idea is prob­a­bly a fair y tale, but it may be some­thing to think about. We def­i­nitely can con­trol our piece of the an­nual cul­tural disas­ter which has be­come our hol­i­day cus­tom. Per­haps groups and or­ga­ni­za­tions can pro­mote the con­cept so the idea could get some trac­tion. It is nice to ex­pe­ri­ence that brief mo­ment of peace on earth as a reality.

I wish ever yone a ver y happy and blessed hol­i­day sea­son that will last 12 months and ul­ti­mately be­come our way of life.

David A. Ryan, Hollywood

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