On My Mind

Me First and the Gimme Gimmies

I might be beating a dead horse with this comment but the movie Inception is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was seriously an epic movie. There’s a part in the movie where Leonardo DiCaprio is on the beach and it shows the abandoned skyscrapers’ foundations being eroded

and subsequently tumbling into the sea. Using that scene as a metaphor, I see it as great visualization of the state in which I picture this world’s morals and values. Once great things have become corrupt and degraded, being destroyed at their foundation. I remember as a kid being taught by my parents how to pray. They managed to keep the instruction pretty simple but one principle they taught me – which I still follow to this day – was to thank God first and then ask for things second. It was considered both humble and gracious. I was also taught to act accordingly with those around me since just taking without thanking is just being greedy. I firmly believe this principle of being appreciative, regardless of its mode of application, is a foundational part having of harmonious society, one that has been eroded over time. The insatiable greed that turns the gears of consumerism has overcome us. I am one of those people that is a firm believer in no Christmas music till after Thanksgiving. No Thanksgiving until after Halloween, etc. I mean, to each holiday its own season, right? Unfortunately Wal-Mart doesn’t get it. One thing that I have found intriguing is that once Halloween is over Christmas stuff shows up everywhere in stores. The halls of our Target and Wal-Mart here in Atlanta are already decked. Xmas decorations seem take up ¼ of the store. It makes you wonder, “what about Thanksgiving?” I think it’s fair to say that, for the most part, Christ and giving are no longer the foci (focuses) of Christmas. It’s just about “what do I get for Christmas.” There are, however, many that preserve the “true meaning” of Christmas and to be completely honest it’s my favorite holiday of the year, hands down. But step back for a second and look at how it all happens. Kids get on their computers and publish wish lists, not hoping for the generosity of their parents but expecting it. Santa Claus is now the savior of Christmas, not Christ, because he brings the goods. And sadly, the preceding holiday which is meant to remind us of how blessed we are to have the essentials of life is preempted by bows and lights at Wal-Mart in early November. In fact, I was talking to Kacee about this while walking through Target and I stumbled upon this card which proved my point beautifully:
Who has gone shopping on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) at 4am? I have and it’s nuts! Docile mothers become voracious cougars heaving themselves onto pallets of nearly-free electronics. Watch the news and you’ll hear about people getting trampled to death by other mindless shoppers trying to buy their children’s happiness. It’s madness. In the end, I know Christmas is awesome and the whole atmosphere is looked forward to all year long but we would be wise to learn from the childhood lesson I was given by my parents to try and give thanks first then ask for things second.

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