Charity begins at the mall?

Today's Link: Analog X
Today's Music: The Chemical Brothers
Current Book: The Life and Writings of Thomas Paine
Today's Quote: "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." Calvin Coolidge

Sorry about not updating yesterday, but geeze... I gotta have a life. Okay... I don't have a life. If I had a life, I'd have interesting things to write about. As it is, the reason there was no update was that I really didn't have anything to write about. Cleaned the apartment a little, went to work, ate some ice cream, came home. Whee. But on the other hand, I do have The Best Wife In The Whole World©.
Anyway, Christmas is a week away, and in the tradition of most people, it's time to talk about The Meaning of Life. (which happened to be on TV last night) Christmas is the time when charitable donations are up, people are friendlier, and the world is a happier and more peaceful place. Right? Yeah, didn't think so.
In reality, depression soars, people get into fights over stuff they're trying to buy to prove how much they love someone. Stress levels go way up. People get themselves into tremendous debt, and while charitable donations are up, most people feel like giving something once a year fulfills their obligation for the whole year. "I sent $50 to the humane society and put a can of beans that I wasn't going to eat into the food drive and dropped a couple of quarters in the salvation army bucket. I'm a good person. Now I'm going to drive my Lexus three blocks to The Gap and buy myself a trendy new striped scarf." Basically, what this is saying is that a trendy scarf is worth more to you than helping other people. Between the car, the gas, and the cost of the scarf, you've spent more money for that than you did to help other people. And how many scarves do you already have. Okay, I realize that most of the people who read my page don't need this lecture. Most of us are much closer to needing that can of beans than to buying a trendy new scarf, but it's something to think about. How much does each of us spend on fasion and entertainment and stuff that we reall don't need compared to the amount we give to people who need things worse than we do. Not just time. Money too. I'm guilty. I don't really know anyone who isn't. I'm not saying that until everyone can afford to go to a movie, no one should. I'm just saying it's something to think about when you go to the movie. Maybe every 5th time you would go to a movie, go to a food bank instead. Maybe buy the sweater that's 30% off and drop $5 into the Salvation Army Kettle. Think about it a little. How can you help?

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