Friday, November 26, 2010

The Gift Of Gratitude

Today is known as Black Friday what it should be known as is the Debt Black Hole Friday. It is the day when normally sane people go crazy. I mean what do you call people who line up days in advance just so they can buy the latest gadget. When did Christmas become fighting to get something that will be forgotten soon after the package is opened? Gratitude is no longer a part of the holiday.

Christmas used to be know as Christ’s birthday now it is known for Santa Claus and who can out shop everyone. I remember when I was a kid getting one big gift that my brother and I would share and then a couple of small gifts. I was happy with what I got. It was called gratitude. Whatever happened to that? Now, if a kid doesn’t get all he or she wants, they are ready to call authorities to complain of being abused and neglected. The sad part, some parents would rather go into debt than explaining to their kids that Christmas will be lighter this year. On a local news show they were interviewing people who were having financial problems. One couple said they didn’t know how they were going to keep their home but they were going to give their kids a big Christmas. To me, their priorities are way off. Keeping the home is more important than the latest Wii game.

If you honestly think about it, what do you remember most about Christmas? Do you remember the gifts or the people you celebrated them with? If you asked me what I got three years ago I couldn’t remember for life or money. What I remember is the fun I had with the people I love. My best Christmas memory is when I knitted a throw for my best friend’s mom who was dying of brain tumors. She loved Christmas and we all prayed that she would be around for it. When she opened my gift the look on her eyes will always stay with me. She acted like I had given her the most expensive gift in the world. Anyone who came into the house would be called over to look at it. This wonderful woman was so grateful for something I had made. When I was working on it , I had people tell me why was I being so cheap.Why didn’t I just go and buy her a gift? To me, a handmade gift is something from the heart. It isn’t because the person is cheap. Back in the old days, Christmas gifts used to be homemade. The difference between now and then is gratitude. People were grateful for what they were given but now some people complain because the gift wasn’t expensive enough.

With all the problems in the world now, maybe we should take a step back and go back to being grateful for what we have. Gratitude isn’t something elusive. It is within all of our reach. We just have to want to have it. Make these holiday about more than how much you spent or how many gifts you got. Do something for someone else. It can be something you made for someone or helping an elderly neighbor by shoveling the snow off their sidewalk and driveway. Help in a food bank and you will forget about whatever problems you have. That is when gratitude comes knocking. Answer the door and let it in. If you have a job even if you don’t like it, a roof over your head with food on the table, you have nothing to complain about. Gratitude should start at Christmas and go year round. Wake up everyday and ask yourself what you can do for someone else. Gratitude is the best gift we can receive.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Celebrities Are Human After All!

I am watching Oprah today and she is interviewing Marie Osmond. She is talking about her son killing himself. This really touched my heart and got me thinking. People think celebrities traded in being a human being for fame and fortune. That comments hurled at them don’t hurt them.

Imagine going shopping and seeing some event in your life splashed all over the tabloids. How would you feel? I bet you wouldn’t be happy about it. I wish someone would explain to me what is so entertaining about the pain of another human being. Yes, they are human beings. Just because they are famous or make more money than most of us will ever see doesn’t change it. I have seen news reporters put microphones in the faces of celebrities who are grieving over the loss of someone they love. The usual question is how do you feel? What kind of question is that? Just looking at them tells you they are in pain. But, the goal of the reporter is to get the exclusive interview no matter what. What happened to decency and letting people grieve?

People have said well they should just deal with the intrusion since they have fame and fortune. Again, what event in your life would humiliate you if it were splashed all over the place? I always wanted to be an actress but am glad it didn’t work out for me. People going through trash to find any tidbit of scandal. Having family and friends betray confidences. To always be worried about someone close to you who might sell you out to the tabloids Does fame and fortune make the hurt less painful? No!

While the internet is wonderful it can also be horrible. Just google a celebs name and you will get all kinds of stuff. Some nice comments but some so disgusting it is beyond belief. What has happened to all of us that we would think it is ok to write such junk. It diminishes all of us when we condone it. The next time you are standing in line at the grocery store checkout, skip buying or even looking at the tabloids. Just imagine if you or someone you loved was splashed all over the tabloids. Would you be willing to read them? Would you want you co-workers to read a story about some pain you or your family member is going through? Put yourself in their shoes. If people didn’t buy those papers they would cease to exist. If people didn’t watch the trash tabloid shows they wouldn’t exist. But they do. We are all to blame. I have turned on the shows from time to time but they left me feeling bad. Why? The main reason, I wasn’t raised to find any joy in someone’s pain.

Just food for thought: The next time you feel like reading about some misfortune of a celeb, put yourself in their place. How would you feel about your pain being discussed by people you don’t know. Hasn’t this society progressed to where we don’t need that as a form of entertainment? You will only attract negative things if that is all you dwell with. Be positive look for the good in people. Celebs are human beings like the rest of us. The fame and fortune is just a blessing they were given.