Saying No to Materialism
With every year, the holiday season becomes more commercialized andless meaningful. Though many would like to put the blame on secularliberals or those who practice tolerance for others' faiths, the realculprit is our consumer culture. All too much of our sense of self isbound up in the car we drive or the label on our clothes.
People spend so much time during the fall figuring out what to buywho and how to afford all of the gifts. We run up millions of dollarsof credit card bills simply to give our loved ones more stuff that theyreally may not even need. Not to mention the levels of stress andanxiety on both the gift giver and receiver.
Sure, there is an intangible and inherent value in giving a gift. Itholds symbolic power and displays our affections. But is there notanother way to bring about those same ends?
I believe that there is. And that would be by giving of yourself tothose who are in need. It is no secret that we are in the midst of oneof the worst economic crises since the Great Depression. There arescores of people who not only won't have presents on
Passover Hanukkah orChristmas, but won't have a home-cooked meal or their own bed in whichto have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.
The poor are all around us. They are black, white and brown. Youngand old. Of all faiths or no faith at all. They are veterans and formerfactory workers. But all share one thing in common- they are human.Just like you. Just like me.
So, as you prepare for the rush of the season, think about how youcan make this world a little better for those who have so little. Thinkabout what matters more- a new gadget for your loved one or a meal fora hungry family; another item of designer clothing for someone with acloset full or winter coats for the homeless; another three hours ofholiday partying or taking the time to befriend a kid in a shelter.
Whether you are religious or not, this time of the year is set asideto come together and give thanks and spread love. We need to reach outdeeper and be sure to share our love with all of our family. The familyof humankind. For when we all share in love and kindness, we make thisworld a truly blessed place.