|My mom used to say, "we remember a friend with a flower." In other words, it's the intention and not the size of the gift that counts. But in a materialistic-driven society, where everything has a price tag even friendships and holidays, that's considered "uncool" and politically incorrect.
Remember the famous line from the hit movie "Harry Potter" which best captures today's mentality of excessive self-indulgence and a sense of entitlement, "But Mum, how could you get me only 22 presents for X-mass this year...?"
The unholy power and the negative effects of commercialism of the holiday season, which is perpetuated by the media (driven by profits), simply can no longer be ignored. We spend a lot of time and energy in a trance-like manner trying to survive the jungles of shopping malls while getting into further debt just to meet expectations that not only don't bring us joy at all but also create a sense of resentment as well. We feel darn too drained to even enjoy the holiday spirit and the fruit of our labor. To ease our conscious some of us resort to sending checks but avoiding any personal contact or having any meaningful spiritual connection with others. When the intent behind the act of gift giving is diluted with other reasons such as giving out of a sense of obligation with resentments attached to it, or when it's for PR purposes with strings attached, it defeats the whole purpose of the true spirit of the holidays.
What once used to be an experience we eagerly looked forward to, had become a major source of stress and even dreadful in some cases. That's because whether we realize it or not, in the rush to satisfy our insatiable desire to consume and "keep up with the Jones's" and because we were brainwashed to believe that "He with the most toys lives," rather then "He with the most joys lives," we neglect our spiritual roots and the fact that we are spiritual beings experiencing the human experience and not the other way around. As such we were meant to live a life of meaning and purpose by connecting with others with kindness and compassion through the act of giving with no strings attached. When we lose our spiritual foundation, we lose the biggest part of our existence that enables us not only to prosper with dignity and pride but also we experience an artificial type of joy and life itself becomes an empty experience devoid of true meaning and purpose or real joy.
Nowadays the holiday season is not talked about in terms of celebrating the miracle of life, faith sharing, giving and connecting with the community, but rather in terms of dollars and accumulating lots of toys that produce artificial joy. The holiday season is simply a geniuses marketing concept. In fact it has become so commercialized that the holiday season is the biggest marketing season. Businesses rise up or fall just based on that season alone.
But when we ignore the true beauty of a rainbow, we miss out on a great experience and limit our joy. Perhaps when we reflect on what really matters in life, we can once again discover the true spirit of the holiday season which has no price tag, and realize that indeed the best things in life are free, and great things still come in small packages. That's when we can once again find joy in simple pleasures that comes from connecting with real people which creates real joyful experiences in the face of any adversity or perceived lack.
The holiday spirit is all about faith and miracles too. But when it comes to faith and miracles, it's shocking to discover how faith in achieving a piece of the American Dream is increasingly fading away. The American Dream is becoming more and more like the Impossible Dream. So much so that most Americans today believe that their chances of winning the lottery are probably better than achieving the American Dream. With the current Enron type of economy, the huge debts and budget deficits (which are really a reflection of our deficit in integrity), most Americans believe that nothing short of a true miracle will restore an economy that was once the envy of the world.
And yes, we could certainly use a miracle to deliver us from environmental and spiritual pollutions (characterized by a lack of integrity and an erosion in morality) and restore failing systems and institutions from our lagging behind the world education, failing family systems, social ills (senseless violence in our schools, higher crime rates on our streets, substance abuse, increased youth suicide, perversion and more) to corrupted politicians who are more concerned with getting elected thus exhibiting love of power rather than power of love and fraud in businesses that has become an accepted practice in our society.
Many Americans believe that America has seen its finest hour, unless we adopt a new attitude. It would take a miracle to restore the greatness of this nation who was once a source of great inspiration and earned the respect of the world, but now we find ourselves going dangerously from a nation of innovative producers into a nation of insatiable consumers willing to get into debt just to support a lifestyle we can no longer afford because we feel compelled to keep up with the Jones's. This is a by product of the newly evolved American Dream which is based on materialistic values system and drives people to greed and corruption and the erosion of morality and integrity.
Since the holiday season is also about sharing the good news, so here it is. America who is now in a desperate need for healing, hope and transformation, can be revived by restoring integrity and wholesome values system and the true spirit of the American Dream, which was based on perspiration, innovation, risk and reward, creating total prosperity, joy and peace. Now that's something to get excited about and even sing Hallelujah!
About the author:
Copyright © 2004-2005, Geela
Author of "The American Dream"
Geela is an award winning singer/songwriter/composer, columnist, and author of the best-selling book "THE AMERICAN DREAM," her true- life story of how she came to America as a young immigrant with nothing and overcame incredible obstacles to achieve mega-success. She founded ONE SPIRIT, ONE WORLD to help children and promote a culture of peace and harmony. Get a free sample of her music and her book at http://www.Geela.com
Circulated by Article Emporium
Watch Online Articles with YouTube for Free: