November 22, 2008

The Holidays, a Different View

Gobble, Oink, Moo for the last time for many of these brave farm animals, yet in their passing, life is renewed. These are the three main courses on many American tables on this very sad day. It is the start of the holidays. It starts with the tricks all that candy does to the systems on Halloween, and continues until the turkey’s demise and we pig out on Christmas and ends with all the bull we put out yearly for our new year’s resolutions.

Yes, you read that right, I did say sad. There are many reasons for this and the number one is that we only think we have to give thanks on one day of the year when in fact this is the day we should be talking about the other 364 previous days that we thanked our creator. It’s the day we should be looking for all the homeless people we visited during the year and double what we had given them. What? You haven’t given anything to those less fortunate? Then this is the day you vow to start doing that. It’s that time of year we should be sending out thanks to all those folks that grow the vegetables and meats that we consume. We eat in one day what took them months and years to prepare. Animals need to be a few years old before they can be given the acceptable sentence.

We enter next into the season of lights. It is a colorful season I admit. But what is it? Is it the gimme day? Is this the day our greed outshines our compassion? For all too many, it is. This is the day accountant and sales departments wait for. It is the big payday. But something is missing. Oh, I know what it is. Love. Love for yourself, your family and friends, for the love of peace and kindness. We talk about it, we sing songs about it, but it all comes down to what is on sale this week? Ok, I hear you. Yes you do show your love on Christmas. What about Boxing Day, the day after Christmas? How about April 18th? How about the other 364 days? Oh we are good about love and peace on Christmas but the rest of the year is road rage, corporate greed, bank overdrafts, and “Will you please pick up you room? I’ve only told you a thousand time!”

Ok, get out your pencils and see how many whoppers you can come up with. Then at the top of the page label it, New Years Resolutions. You know ahead of time they’re not true, but the thought is there. New year’s is the time of renewal, right? For all too many it’s “Get the hell out of here until my headache goes away, I partied too hard last night.” Then it’s snack food central and couch potato time while watching one bunch of guys pummel another over a funny shaped object. All this time others in the house are trying to prepare supper or lunch or keeping the kids out of the way. This is standard American life.

This is not Halloween. I have no tricks up my sleeve, nor sweets to offer.
This is not Thanksgiving, yet I have much to be thankful for.
This is not Christmas, yet I have a heart full of love.
This is not New Year’s Eve, yet my resolution as always, is to be as kind as I can be.
This is not New Years Day. I dislike sports, but I have words to pen.

Today is the day to contact a friend, a loved one and tell them you love them. Tell them how thankful you are that they are in your life. Today is the day to do something kind for someone.




  1. Very well said, Ron. While you know this will be a very different holiday season for me, as it will be my first one alone (without family members), yet I have so many blessings to be thankful for. Among the top on the list are the peace of knowing that Ivan is with the Lord and he is smiling down on me, and having all the wonderful friends who have been my lifeline this year. Next is the fact that I have been able to keep my promise to Ivan the day he died to keep Mission Socorro going, and God has opened several doors for me to reach out to those who have way less than I do.
    Merry Christmas and a bless WHOLE NEW year to you and yours.
    Janet Elaine Smith, author

    Comment by Janet Elaine Smith — November 22, 2008 @ 4:21 pm | Reply

  2. It’s sad, too, Ron, because when we eat animals we contribut to the earth’s pollution problem and some animals are raised in less than humane conditions I’m not suggesting we don’t enjoy our turkey this Thanksgiving. But trying to have one meat free day a week and to try to get our turkey free range this day of thanks. The American Indian tribes (and many others) got it right when they respected the food they ate in more ways than asking God to bless the food. We should be active in that process.

    Happy holidays,
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    See my page on tolerance this holiday season at:

    Comment by Carolyn — November 22, 2008 @ 4:53 pm | Reply

  3. A beautifully written message, Ron. And thank you for the reminder. I need to call an old friend with whom I’ve been out of touch. I have a lot to be thankful for although I lost my daughter to cancer nearly four months ago, and my lovable black lab was recently killed by a truck. I know they’re in a better place but I miss them terribly. It’s a time to renew my love for those who remain and to take stock of my blessings.

    Comment by Jean Henry Mead — November 22, 2008 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  4. Very true and sad. When we buy meat at the store, we don’t know how the animals were raised. Occasionally they show conditions on TV, but when you buy that chicken, do you really think about where they came from or how they were raised. In this area, there are chicken farms. Huge metal buildings, but you will never see a chicken running around. Hog farms are the same. Why not allow these animals to roam free and enjoy their lives? It’s like our pheasant season. Used to be, and I have gone hunting with my dad many years ago although I never shot anything, but you would drive around and shoot at the pheasants who were wild. Now they are farm raised. Why not go shoot a chicken? They have no skills of taking care of themselves because the ones in the business throw feed out to them in a penned area. When the season comes round, they turn them lose and tell the hunters to go out hunting. Forgive me, but that is not hunting. Where is the sport in it. And most don’t shoot them for meat to feed their family. No, you have to find the pheasant with the longest tail feather. When Dad hunted, it was because he loved hunting, the meat, and he had a family to feed. Now it’s nothing more then a big business and a profitable one at that. Guess I’m off subject, but reading the other comments made me think.

    Comment by Terre — November 22, 2008 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  5. True, it’s the everyday stuff that counts more in the end. Still Holidays and special days are a way of bringing people together. They’re a nudge to stop rushing around, pay attention to family and remember what’s important.

    As for homeless people, sad to say, I see so many beggars as a walk to work in Downtown Chicago. They stand or sit, with or without signs, everyday, with cups out, as if that’s their regular job and that’s their profession. I can’t give to them every time I see them. Also, it’s hard to tell what’s really going on with them.

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — November 22, 2008 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  6. Very well said, Ron!!!!!

    Comment by joyceanthony — November 22, 2008 @ 8:11 pm | Reply

  7. Well said. I’m saying true dat back atcha, my friend. Looking forward to my visit here next month with Owen Fiddler. You’ve really elevated this blog by a quantum leap.

    Comment by Marvin D Wilson — November 22, 2008 @ 11:35 pm | Reply

  8. Thanks for reminding us that we need to carry the holiday spirit throughout the year.

    Comment by Lillie Ammann — November 23, 2008 @ 1:05 am | Reply

  9. Yes this is true, we seem to forget the other 364 days, of being thankful, giving joy, spreading peace, must most of all spreading the one thing that wraps all the rest up in one bundle that is love. The more you give it away the more you will get it back. We can never give too much love, for it is what defines the soul. Thanks for sharing yours with us.


    Comment by Angie Hartson — November 23, 2008 @ 7:20 am | Reply

  10. Hi, yes, thanks for all of these insights — very well said. I too have major issues with the holidays and I do my best not to get caught up in all the hoopla of commercialism and having to eat certain foods at certain times, etc. (But I have to admit that crashing my son’s Halloween party dressed like a hippie where all of his friends asked, “Who’s that crazy hippie lady with the annoying tamborines?” and having my son say, “Oh that’s my mom..!” definitely made that holiday very priceless). Anyway, I digress. Yes, why can’t people be good to one another all the time? I was kinda shocked to see two very happy red roosters wandering around downtown Mountain View where I live, definitely not something you’d normally see in these parts. But it made me think to see them, you know?
    thanks for sharing this, Ron!
    may peace, loe and happiness embrace all of us…all the time.

    Comment by Melody — November 23, 2008 @ 11:15 am | Reply

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