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Life Lessons


Wishing Big For This Holiday Season

I am going to have to write to the big-wigs at Sears. Or call them.

What's the idea, anyway? What kind of a message is that to send during
the holiday season? Wish big?

But that's exactly what the Sears television commercials are suggesting --  wish big.

Then again, why not?

People in this country are already living beyond their incomes and are
charging all of those lovely 'extras' to their credit cards. So why not wish big at Christmas time? By all means, spend your available cash on necessities like food, shelter and clothing. And then put that expensive piece of jewelry -- or a large-screen television -- or a computer complete with a $4,000 color laser printer --  on the credit card and pay it off over the next two or three or four or five or ten years. If you do that, you'll feel better. Much better. Then you can do it again next year and extend that payment for another ten years.

Children are living with inflated expectations about what they 'should' want for Christmas, too. Toys? Books? Dolls? Stuffed animals? Certainly not. Expensive electronics. Games. Ipods. A computer for their rooms so they can roam the Internet and be a target for every sexual predator out there. That's the thing children need. Not something which will challenge their imaginations and their creativity and their thinking skills.

Materialism and consumerism and capitalism. That's what we should have
more of in this world. That's what people need to get them out of debt
and back on the road to financial solvency. That's what people need to
help them be healthy and live more comfortably. After all, if people are busy working to pay for those "wish big" items, they won't have the time or the energy to worry about what the politicians or the bigcorporations are doing behind their backs.

Wish big, indeed.

Well, I can 'wish big' too.

Here's my idea of 'wishing big' for this holiday season --

1. I wish that people would be nicer to one another. You know --  the
old 'golden rule' -- treat others the way you would want to be
treated. Then maybe we could say that certain things no longer exist:
CEOs who pocket huge salaries while they squander their employees'
retirement funds, as well as other types of fraud and theft, not to
mention wars and murders and rapes and child abuse and spouse abuse
and elder abuse.

2. I wish that those people who are intolerant of other people --
whether it's because of skin color or lifestyle or economic status or
religious beliefs -- would learn to be a bit more tolerant. Even a
slight increase in tolerance would make the world a better place.

3. I wish that all of those people who are victims of natural disasters (tsunami, hurricanes, earthquakes) could have plenty of food and warm blankets and sturdy shelters and money to rebuild their homes and their towns and their villages.

4. I wish all of those people who are sick and dying and in pain could
find a cure for their ailments or relief from their suffering.

5. I wish that those senior citizens -- and younger, people, too (especially those  families living without health insurance) -- who have to make a choice between buying their medicine and buying groceries would not have to choose but would be able to afford both.

6. I wish all of those people in the world who are hungry could have an abundance of food, and I wish all of those people in the world who need shelter could have a home to call their own.

7. I wish all of those who feel lonely and unloved and unwanted could find find comfort in the love and companionship of friends and family and neighbors and the community around them.

These are a few of my ideas about 'wishing big' for the Christmas
season.

What are yours?

2005 LeAnn R. Ralph

LeAnn R. Ralph is the author of the books "Cream of the Crop (More
True Stories from  Wisconsin Farm)" (trade paperback, Sept. 2005);
"Christmas in Dairyland (True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm" (trade
paperback 2003); "Give Me a Home Where the Dairy Cows Roam" (trade
paperback 2004); "Preserve Your Family History (A Step-by-Step Guide
for Interviewing Family Members and Writing Oral Histories" (e-book
2004). You are invited to read sample chapters, order books and sign
up for the free newsletter, Rural Route 2 News  --
http://ruralroute2.com

 

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