As usual, I had no idea what I wanted to write about this time around. So much has happened in the past few weeks. It would be taking the easy way out by writing how much the horrific events of the past couple weeks were just that...or to write about the need for this or that in terms of regulating the sale of assault weapons or the need for better healthcare for people with mental issues...or the fact that the middle class is going to be the ones suffering, yet again, when all the "deals" to prevent the United States from falling off the "cliff" are put into motion. I could even write about trying to keep your stress level to a minimum at your family gatherings during the holidays... But you know what? It just seems pointless. It's all been said and apparently, from the looks of things, no one is listening... or paying attention.
So, I have a few random things on my mind and I'm just going to list them and move on. Will this be your "Happy-cuddly-warm-wishing-you-the-best" holiday blog? I don't think so. Will it make you think? I hope so. But if it doesn't then that's my problem. Not yours. I would HOPE it makes you pause for at least a second to "reflect" and "ponder" (That word is funny. Reminds me of the whole bible thing where Mary is pondering. What was she pondering about?)
(1) The Salvation Army. Those people are out there doing their thing. Ringing their bell. Hoping for just your small change in their buckets. Give it to them. You don't need it. "Raindrops Make a Flood"...remember. Then after you do that remember that people aren't only "needy" from Thanksgiving to December 25th. People need all year round. People need help all year long. Not just during the holidays. Maybe thinking about how you can help during the other months of the year would be a good idea. Even if it's just writing a $5.00 check every month and sending it off. I you put Good out there Good comes back.
(2) Gifts are THINGS. We all don't need anymore THINGS. You know what we need? More compassion. More empathy. More kindness. These are not THINGS. These should be necessities.
(3) There is no war on Christmas. You know how all you hear in the media about how no one wants to say Christmas Tree...or Christmas celebration? Yadda yadda yadda. Get over it people. I know many people (myself included) who do not participate in any particular religion or ANY religion. I know many people who are devout Christians. I know many people who celebrate Hanukkah. I know a few atheists. So what? Celebrate the way you want. I don't care if it's called a Christmas Tree. If it makes you happy and doesn't hurt anyone else do what you want to do! If you don't celebrate...then don't celebrate. But please respect the ones who do. Don't tear down people because they think differently. Be tolerant. Please. (I know I'm going to get flak about this paragraph....)
(4) This recent violent act has our country reeling. Many people are speaking without thinking. Many people (groups) are speaking after thinking and still not getting it right. Many people are suggesting knee-jerk reactions to a complicated yet SOLVABLE situation. There is no question that a serious dialogue and serious action needs to be taken. However, let's remember this violence happens everywhere. We are focused on the schools, yet I hear of kids/adults being gunned down standing on street corners. You know about the movie theatre violence that happened. I am devastated by this recent elementary school shooting. I have two nieces that are 6 and 9. If something ever happened to them like this our entire family would be shattered. HOWEVER, we need to focus on the full issue of violence-not just violence in schools. Violence in general from guns to road rage to physical to verbal violence. Violence is violence...and it comes in many shapes and sizes.
(5) Our country needs to come out of the dark ages and acknowledge and treat PROPERLY people with mental illnesses. We need to educate and inform in this area a whole lot better. We need to remove the stigma of mental illness so we can treat and help people better. We fail as a country if we cannot help our most vulnerable- this not only includes our children but people with disabilities and mental illness. It is SHAMEFUL that certain members of congress voted down the UN Disabilities Treaty recently. Absolutely shameful. You have all heard it before...your team is only as strong as your weakest link. These people are our most vulnerable and we are failing them.
(6) I am tired of politics. Just get something done. We voted you in to help our country. Do the right thing. Why is it so hard for our elected officials to do the RIGHT thing?
I know it's the time of the year where we should be wishing each other good will and happiness. And I do wish everyone that. But if I could wish anyone and everyone anything...anything at all...it would be to go about your day with a bit more kindness. A little kindness goes a long way. In terms of all the issues above, if everyone involved had serious dialogue and approached this dialogue with KINDNESS and compassion there is no doubt progress would happen...and quickly. Set aside your differences. I was going to say "petty" differences, but that would minimize people's feeling and I don't want to do that. These differences are serious. However, they can be overcome with some kindness.
If you could approach every issue...every conflict... from a base of kindness and compassion we could resolve a lot of problems we face right now.Please don't underestimate the value of kindness.
Thank you for reading this year. Please stick with me next year as well. My goal is to be more consistent in my postings. I appreciate everyone who has read my ramblings and commented. Thank you from the bottom of my heart :)Have a wonderful rest of 2012!!!! The year did not end!!!! See you in 2013!!!!