While I enjoy the feel goodness that the holidays brings out in people - giving gifts to needy children or paying off families balances on lay away - I hate the fact that it illuminates our feeling of need for things. People do not need gifts on christmas. People do not need things in general. If our society was less driven by this desire for objects, if there was less pressure to provide items to show appreciation for our loved ones, if holidays were less commercialized, than people who can't afford necessities wouldn't be stretching themselves beyond their means just to meet these societal expectations.
The truth is that people are no less in need during the holidays than any other time of the year. This drive we feel to make sure that everyone is minimally (however you define that word) provided for should stretch the entire length of the year - not just a few months time.
So if the holidays drive you to want to help provide for someone else - great - but take a look at why you are doing it and ask yourself why you don't feel the need to more often. If you happily go and buy gifts - objects people probably don't need - for those in need why do people get so up in arms about providing housing assistance, food assistance, and health care to these same people?
This isn't meant to be political, I just genuinely don't understand. If you'll spend $100 for toys for a family at christmas time, why are we not willing to give that same family $100 for food in July.
Every year people gather with their friends, families, or themselves and reflect on what they are thankful for. Often times this comes down to being thankful for the people in their lives and the good fortune that has found itself to them.
Laying in bed this morning reflecting on what I was thankful for I found that I could sum it all up in a single word.
I am thankful for time. Time to screw up and make things right, time to experience and learn new things, time to work through hard days and time to have better ones. I am thankful for time to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets - and yes time to better get to know my family and friends. I am thankful for the time to evolve myself into a better person, to exercise random acts of kindness and to read more books. I am thankful for the time to be thankful, and thankful that I realize that at any moment there may be no more time for me or anyone else. I am thankful for the time I have had in the past and the people who shared that time with me even if they are no longer a part of my life.
I am thankful for my time, for your time, and for the opportunity to have the next hour, two hours, day, week, month, year or decade(s). Whatever amount of time it is, I am thankful for it.
A few weeks ago I watched the movie Into the Wild. Frankly it left me feeling annoyed. I didn't find Chris McCandless to be a very likable. He struck me as arrogant, out of touch, wanting to escape from responsibility, and wanting to punish his parents. Aware that movies very rarely live up to the true story the way a book does, I decided that it was a must read for me.
I guess we could look at McCandless as presented in the book as a young man on a soul searching mission but to be honest, I'm not sure I feel any differently about him now that I've finished it than I did from just watching the movie. The book does allow me to be slightly more sympathetic towards him than the movie did, but I still find myself unable to get past his overall egotism. His disregard for the care that everyone he encountered showed for him including abandoning his sister whom he was supposedly very close to, to a situation that he himself couldn't tolerate. His lack of ability to talk out things that he had a problem with and instead brood on them leaves me with the overall impression of immaturity.
His view that somehow the mistakes that his parents had made in the past and failed to tell him about led to his 'entire childhood being a lie' is narcissistic.
While I get his wanderlust - I have been known for my fair share of it - and appreciate his dedication to not being made a slave to societies wants it only makes for a good story and way of life if you can manage it alive - otherwise it's a pretty poor example of societies evils and only screams for it's necessary elements.
I understand that suffocating feeling that idling brings. Hell, I still suffer from it daily - but Chris McCandless was not someone to idealize for his convictions.
Having information available to you and choosing to ignore it doesn't make you heroic - it makes you ignorant.
Took another run in the rain after work today. I love that feeling. That's probably a good thing since it's going to rain for the next 10ish months here. I could feel one of my ankles tensing up while I was running, and expected that I would be feeling some tendon soreness afterwards but so far so good in that department. I haven't gotten out to take pictures of that trail yet, being the slacker that I am.
It was raining fairly heavily for Seattle rain today, but I still enjoyed every moment of it.
I think the parts of running in the rain I enjoy most are that you stay pretty cool, there is never anyone else out, and you get to splash in puddles along the way.
We've actually done quite a bit that I haven't written about none of it too exciting though.