I wrote something similar to this for my other blog, but I feel writing another one again because it’s just still on my mind.
Yesterday was Father’s Day. Hopefully, I’m not the first to tell you this and I hope you had a good one. I have a good dad. A unique one, a respectable one, one to be admired. I don’t mind buying him a gift to celebrate the fact that he is my dad, in fact I like it. I like to buy people things when I know it will make them happy because it’s something they’ve been really wanting or I know they would really like it. I like people to be happy, but this Father’s Day brought some rather negative thoughts this year.
Really it all started a couple of Christmases ago. There was this sickening sight of greed and the smell of just pure ridiculousness in the air. It was sickening, all of the commercials, all of the comments that were being heard down the store aisles. Black Friday is the worst part. Seriously people, if you ever buy me a present, please don’t go through that kind of trouble or cause those kinds of problem for it. It’s just not worth it. Christmas is supposed to be about how God sent his son to Earth so that he could later die for our sins. It was the ultimate gift. That’s the religious version of it anyway. Even if you don’t believe in that, it is still supposed to be about giving. Ironically, it still is. It’s not like we’re carrying on like that just for our own selves those presents, but it’s just unreasonably avaricious which I think makes it even worse.
I don’t remember being particularly disturbed by the rest of the holidays the next year, but every day life, seeing everyone always off to do whatever they could to be first or hoard the most is extremely hard for me to stand. And the worst part to stomach is that some people don’t see anything wrong with what they’re doing. I don’t know how people can fix that.
The next Christmas, this last Christmas, was about ten times worse. The commercials, the news, the crowds, all of it. I’m surprised I could even make it out of bed, it was so depressing. It’s not so much the idea of Black Friday that bothers me, although thinking about it from the corporation’s point of view makes it a little more bothersome, but it’s just the way they act. Uncivilized, uncompassionate, rude. Those same people are the same people who do other ridiculous things and I think I’ve made a habit of not associating myself with them, so I’m constantly wondering what in the heck is going through their minds to make them act like a bunch of two-year olds. I also wonder if I could understand people like that would it make the situation any less sickening.
I think it’s a combination of experiences that lead me to this kind of disgust. Just by studying how much we waste and the effects it has on the environment has opened my eyes about a lot of different things. But even before I knew that kind of stuff, I always thought that it was sad that the world has lost so much compassion. I’m not the nicest person in the world. Far from it. Often my opinions are hypercritical, judgmental, a little harsh, I take my anger out on others who don’t deserve it, and people as a general rule make me kind of cranky, but I have always tried to stay compassionate. I still care about people and I want to help them because it’s not the individual people I dislike, it’s their attitudes. And if I wasn’t compassionate then I would be part of the problem and I would have to hate myself that much more.
New Year’s wasn’t that wasn’t so bad. Just the usual partying commercials. Valentine’s Day though was a little hard to stomach. I think the commercials I’ve been listening to on the radio are the difference. The one I listen to has new ones and some of them are just awful about objectifying women. And it’s not even for a strip club or something, it’s only men’s hair cutting place. Anyway, all the commercials were like: “Come and buy your girl this super expensive ring and you can probably buy her right along with it”. This isn’t exactly what they said and they may not mean to say it like that, but that’s what they’re implying. That particular jewelry store still has commercials and every few months it just gets a little worse. But I even remember seeing a more subtle version on TV. I was repulsed.
Next was Easter which had the usual candy selling extravaganza. Maybe it bothers me so much because the kid’s are getting more and more bratty. I can see the future effects of it and it’s not a pretty picture. Remember those kids are going to be taking care of us in nursing homes. Is that really what you want. People there now aren’t even being taken care of, how do you expect we’ll be treated?
Then there was Mother’s Day which seemed much more reasonable, but maybe that’s because I was still in shock by Valentine’s Day and Easter. It was more like: “Hey, give some appreciation for the woman who raised you with this nice day at the spa.” Maybe it’s because mother’s are just more reasonable and the marketing people know they won’t be swayed by the ridiculousness.
Father’s Day sure was a nice jerk back to reality though. Someone was telling me an article about how Father’s day gifts are becoming more personal. Instead of the gender oriented gifts like a tie, coffee mug or tool kit they’re getting gifts that are more tailored to the father’s personality. I was thinking that it was more along the lines that marketing campaigns are getting more aggressive and better at trying to sell us stuff. I thought this because of the radio commercials I had been hearing the day before about how I had to buy my dad I brand new $20,000 dollar car in order to tell him that I love him and I’m glad that he’s my dad. Or the thousands of other commercials I’ve heard over the last year about how if I loved someone I would get them this or that. The same as every other holiday.
Businesses have gotten better at convincing us that we need STUFF and telling us what STUFF we need or our loved ones NEED. I think it’s also been getting better at pinpointing our guilt. We feel guilty about the lack of time we spend with the kids so we buy them lots of toys. We feel guilty about not spending time with our wife so we buy her an expensive ring. That kind of thing. They seem to have convinced us that the more money we spend the more money we spend and it’s simply not true. I hope it gets better, but I fear it will not.