Our oldest child, daughter "Nane", has finally reached an age where our unorthodox lifestyle concerns her during the massive holiday season. She has arrived at a place where she knows that what we provide for her is the best possible (as we know it), yet the commercial campaign advocating gift-giving from the true capitalistic perspective has become a measure of the various ways in which she is SOOOOO different from her peers.
Yesterday, she expressed to me that she sometimes feels left out because we don't celebrate Christmas (Solstice) or other Pagan-based holidays (i.e. St. Valentines's Day, All Hallow's Eve). We happened to be at the post office, where the line stretched out the door with patrons hugging last-minute presents for their friends and loved ones. She remarked that everyone seemed "so happy" and in her mind, attributed their joy to the boxes in their arms.
My first instinct was to remind her of the undermining ploy to raise U.S. economics. But, she knows that stance all too well already. We address advertising and marketing strategies on a regular basis, so it just didn't seem to me that repeating myself would drive home the point. Not like it should.
What eye ultimately decided to present was a perspective that reassured her that we (our little family) are as much a part of this festive season as anyone else. That just because we do not participate in X-mas shopping and that the box in our company was stuffed with 25 packages fit for the stocking - but being mailed with the intention of promoting Something To Cope - she musn't consider herself an outsider.
Eye reminded her first that long-lasting gifts are intangible. Then, eye explained that she should feel proud of the fact that she truly evokes the spirit of the holiday season in a way that most grown-ups fail to ever grasp. It was imperative that she know that while spending your paper money on another individual may show favor and appreciation to a degree, it's the way you treat people that lasts over time. To buy a new "something" for "someone" signifies only that we are willing to share with another outwardly. Yes, the purchase may indeed stem from a place occupied by love, but if the behavior of the actual individual does not reflect a loving-posture in times when they are not giving, then the gift will eventually be reduced to just another "something" that "someone" gave.
Say a philanthropist gives a hard-working disadvantaged black youth a million dollars to get out of the ghetto, hoping that they will take the money and carve out a better path for themselves. The only commitment requested of the individual is that they maintain supporting contact with the giver and always threats them in a loving and respectful manner. For some strange reason, everytime the youth comes in contact with the "good Samaritan" and attempts to fulfill their agreement, the gift-giver engage them in a condescending manner. They may yell at them when they feel that the money isn't being properly spent. They might ignore their calls or worse, intentionally hang the phone up in the middle of a conversation that they dislike. They might even begin to break appointments and sabotage all attempts for the youth to maintain proper contact.
Now some might argue that the youth should just be so grateful to get the duckets, that it shouldn't matter how the patron treat them. The youth has an opportunity to succeed in a world where the odds have always been against them. And that makes a tiny bit of sense if your perspective in shaped by money. Just so happens that my perspective is usually more wholistic, believing that mind, spirit, and body are the true indicators of whether any particular situation is successful or not.
All praise to THE CREATOR.
What happens to the mind of a young black disadvantaged youth treated so disrespectfully? What does yelling do to a person's spirit? How does remaining in a monetarily generous relationship affect an individual's health if their mind is unhealthy because of it? It is my belief that all things work together for the greater good, but that all too can work dissonantly to the greater demise of any person.
It is my desire that we as a people break the spending cycle and really do hone in on what it means to give - really. What we "give" a person to feed their spirit is firm nourishment that continues to multiply beyond that of a price tag, that which tends to devalue over time. This year, my goal is to be a part of the festivities only as much as it feeds the spirit - be that me to another or to my advantage. There is not a single purchase they eye feel like eye can't eventually make from hard work and saving. That's the American way - overcoming financial obstacles. So monetary contributions, while they may aid, simply do not impress me anymore.
WE NEED LOVE.
WE NEED COMPASSION.
WE NEED INTIMACY.
WE NEED SUPPORT.
Do we really need portable DVD players, gift cards and home dry-cleaning machines? Who knows? Eye just know what eye need...
4 years ago