I find, when I look around, a dulled holiday spirit. Seems the shaky economy has sobered the connection between the mind and the wallet, or at least dullen the senses for enjoyment.
On the way into work on the day after thanksgiving I stopped into CompUSA before they opened at 7am. The outer doors were open and there was a crowd sandwiched between the doors soaking the heat preparing to stampede into the store at the turn of the key. I could feel the excitement, the electricity of those in waiting. They were talking about what they wanted, what they needed, what they wanted to get, etc.
That attitude is kind of catchy so I picked up a flier and wow, there were some genuine sales going on. I made a mental wish list and even encircled a few items. The store manager and his assistant approached the crowd and passed out even more sales fliers with super savings on top of everything else for the first 50 outstretched set of arms.
Some looked at me kind of funny as I went against the grain by squeezing my way past people facing the opposite direction, but I woke up during that brief interlude.
I was about to lay down $20 or even twice that amount for something I didn't need but allowed myself to get excited about by the multitudes, junk really. And I thought.. they are the sheep, for one goes over the cliff, the rest will follow. I was fortunate because although I was the moth attracted to the bright light, I was able to escape before I got burnt by the heat of the moment.
Is this the true Christmas spirit? The crowd was reduced to a selfish mob, seduced into "savings" of up to hundreds of dollars. For what? Selfish greed? Is this what we have become?
I wonder if any of them would be so excited with a shopping cart in a supermarket grocery store, waiting for the clock to open the doors so they could dash madly through the aisles filling up their carts so they could win. Win? Sure. The prize? Take the shopping cart full of groceries down to the local food kitchen and help feed those much less fortunate.
Y’know. My eyes are always searching for opportunities. Often my dreams carry messages which come true. I dream of taking the equivalent time of what I projected it would have taken me to earn what I mentally circled on CompUSA’s sale flier and spend a Saturday or Sunday morning someplace in Boston helping out.
Didn’t get the wrong idea about me or about what I wrote or why I wrote it.
The burning thought right now is I just wonder how many will follow me. I’m neither a leader nor a follower and when I’m offered leadership roles I often pass them up. I like to cut my own path in the world and most often don’t care what anyone else does nor how they do it.
But if there was ever one time I’d like to have people follow me it’s now.
Sometimes to give a little of the self and read the genuine appreciation and the happiness lighting up the faces of those who are in need and have received provides more warmth than the cozy living room fireplace. It’s so imbalanced when you think of it, really. All you have to do is give a very little and it can mean so much and be so big.
Will you follow me on this one for the holidays, just this one time?
Always with an even keel.