Christmastime is not all about Christians

Hey.

I promise you this: For me, Christmas is not necessarily 100% about the notion of Jesus and the stories told about his sacrifices. I believe in the story of Jesus and I’m not ashamed. I know quite possibly there was a woman and her husband who needed a safe space to give birth and people were generous enough to offer a manger- wise men may have foreseen the good deeds to come and the comfort this individual who was born there, and all the tribulations were yet to come.

I do not argue these facts whether they are true to be known or not. I take comfort in the example that we should all perhaps take thereafter enforcing ourselves to be better people- better persons to each neighbor and stranger we encounter- not today because it is special, but everyday.

A sizeable amount of this example resonates inside me just as I have learned and use the examples and wisdom of the readings of Buddhism and the teachings of Dharma or Hinduism. Believe me, to live peacefully within a Western world these additional perspecives can do nothing but accentuate your belief system and way of living.

To a modern Westerner, whose proven to work longer and harder than other developed societies- most of us are more than willing to acknowledge older, more established cultural practices. Tamil New Year, Holaka and Dessera are major Hindu holidays in the Spring and Fall and I’d be glad to celebrate them for the sake of celebration of anything good thing for any large group of peaceful people.

If anything, there shall be more food. Who could possibly be against that?

Personally, I feel this time of year should be for the gathering of family and friends, especially if you live in the Western hemisphere. We work hard enough and deserve the reduced flow of work to spend with our loved ones.

Christmas is Here, Why Am I Doing All the Work?

Image courtesy of Google Images.

Image courtesy of Google Images.

Hey.

In the words of my grandmother, “I’m not complaining, I’m just explaining,”

Why am I the one left to be made responsible we have all the materials we need for Christmas dinner? Suddenly, my slightly proactive attitude toward being prepared has gotten me nothing but additional responsibilities for making sure every ingredient we need is available and ready for production at the specified times this evening and tomorrow.

I am a runner. Similar to drug running but more from a food perspective. I have to make sure my customers are equally satisfied.

That means no matter how many times I’m required to retrieve something- I will:

– Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese in addition to the large bag we have and the Smoked Gouda, Gruyere and Aged/Vermont Cheddars we already have refrigerated. Sure, Macaroni and cheese can always use more…cheese.

– Soy Sauce and Honey for the recipe we have to make with the chicken thighs in addition to the ham balls all because someone in my family has forsaken pork (insert eyeroll for family members).

– Batteries for the TV remote/TV in the spare bedroom because of the battery’s belief of ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ and because although we have plenty of AA batteries, this one requires AAA batteries. How special?

– Any other slight ingredient or required seasoning because we know that if it isn’t there the dish doesn’t taste as good as it should.

So here’s to your trips to the store before they’ll closed and if so, your abilities to substitute! Again, Merry Christmas and enjoy the day, either way- it’s what memories are made of!

Being You (Unique)

Image courtesy of Google Images.

Image courtesy of Google Images.

Hey.

Something or someone, somewhere recently inspired me to write this. I cannot recall specifics but I’ll be thankful for the anonymous inspiration and carry on. I hate to sound so preachy so I find myself avoiding topics similar to this because in general, most people get it over time and through natural abilities to grow unto ‘your own’ so-to-speak. There are a few however, who don’t.

To the young person who is struggling with who they are- even a little bit, to the societally ‘older’ individual (over 25) who is thought to be past the phase where we as individuals are unsure of ourselves- I’d like to say this: Simply, be YOU.

Nothing here you will ever come into contact with is- perfect.

I go about my usual routine which is nothing special and I can’t help but see several people I know who need to be reminded that the persona they are trying to imitate is not exactly possible within their realm because they often imitate celebrities or other more financially secure individuals who are granted the time and monies it takes to uphold the standards they live in.

I won’t even go into the amount of material objects these celebrities and wealthy individuals are given- just for being who they are, which then forces the average or below average income individual to often irresponsibly rearrange their priorities just to halfway meet the visual aspects of the achievement. This comes to fruition in the form of purses, shoes, cars, homes and clothing just so the few who may see them might believe they are of higher status.

I call bullshit. Plain and simple. For some reason our materialism and commercialism via reality shows and other media outlets has consequently decided that people are nothing without ‘certain’ goods. Apparently if you don’t drive a certain car, wear a certain brand of clothing, keep yourself groomed beyond a certain basic level- you have zero value, or better yet, you must be in the process of making yourself become one of the individuals who ritualize these above mentioned material achievements.

To the person who is struggling with this (or thinks they aren’t struggling at all with it) I’d like to suggest a little reality:

` Most people aren’t concerned with the car you drive- they are only concerned you made it to your location.

` Most people aren’t concerned with what you’re wearing. Most are concerned with the heart underneath it.

` Most people probably believe you’re a little mentally ill if you’ve decided out of the gift of life you’re given- you’re only concerned with what you can buy with your time here.

Carlin spoke the truth often. Image courtesy of Google Images.

Carlin spoke the truth often. Image courtesy of Google Images.

` Most people have decided if you’re consumed with this miniscule aspect. You’re dependable and worthy of nothing else besides that in itself so all alone on your throne you’ll sit as the rest of the world matures and thinks of ways they can contribute to helping the rest of the world meet their basic needs like clean drinking water and toilets and such.

Now, I don’t mean to attack the individuals here who are of sound mind and like nicer things through responsible means. I believe a sturdy, decent piece of furniture (which is often expensive) beats out a cheap one purchased many times over any day. I also am not riding the backs of those who do spend a great deal of money and effort making sure others who don’t have the basics get theirs. I’m referring to the poor ones who are trying to live like the rich and have no business trying.

There are plenty of folks like me who do not care about what they can see, materialistically. I often listen for the nonmaterial things you don’t mention you own.

Image courtesy of Google Images.

Image courtesy of Google Images.

To My 225 Friends Here (And Whoever Else Reads This)

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Hey.

There’s a pretty significant day approaching us this week. Whether or not you believe in its significance we all pretty much have to take in the wonders for all the planning that goes on. Billions of dollars goes into this celebration and although my family and I have forsaken the material measures- we’ve long been fans and appreciative of the opportunity to gather in the kitchen and prepare our best foods.

I’m one of the many who’ll have to share some of my time that day, at work- but it’s only 8 hours and I’ve long gotten used to having to blend my holidays with the workdays.

I want to wish each and every one of you my sincerest wishes for a Merry Christmas. If you don’t celebrate it- I’m still wishing you an extra special day because who doesn’t want one of those, right? 🙂

May your bellies manage to hold the extra room for dessert.

My Eye Candy

Hey.

While I’m not the type of person who drools over a celebrity (believe me, I was not purposefully looking for this one)- I can certainly appreciate stumbling upon any few pleasantries Hollywood has to offer. Queue in Mr. Bradley Cooper. I’ve long been a fan of the many movies he’s starred in. Today, I read an article about him that provided even more reason to love his absolute down to Earth attitude and perspective towards life. Those intriguing eyes and smile are just topping for this most adorable cake. You can read the article here.

Courtesy of Google images.

Courtesy of Google images.

I dare you not to be thankful for this humble individual.

While I know he’s already quite famous, I’m on a mission to bring out the best-in-class of certain individuals, especially in Hollywood- which society basically worships for all the wrong reasons. For this Mr. Cooper I thank you for giving me a topic to write about! Ha!

This One’s For the Tough Ones

You've probably seen this little guy a few times on social media. Photo courtesy of Google images.

You’ve probably seen this little guy a few times on social media. Photo courtesy of Google images.

Hey.

Time for a pep talk and a reminder to the strong-willed individuals who are reading this. If you aren’t strong-willed I hope by reading this you become a little stronger, a little more persistent and every time the proverbial door gets slammed in your face that you pause for only a second in reflection and then head straight for the proverbial window.

This is what I hope you do.

As you know, the world can be a messed up place. I’m not referring to the world in totality- not the large globe the rest of the universe may see. I’m referring to the world through our own eyes, individually. Things happen in our lives great, good and bad and ever so often we get to experience epiphanies that remind us that our comfort zone- is a little too comfortable. We will never be impervious to internal shake-up.

I was fortunate enough to experience one of these blessed epiphanies yesterday and round two today. I can tell you that I’ll go to bed a stronger individual than what I woke up as. I hope if you experience a similar awakening that you too will realize that you are often exactly where you need to be in order to commence the changes that must occur to make your situation (or you) better. I don’t need to go into detail about my experience today but will suffice it to say that I was reminded people will often disappoint you in life and at times words and written agreements will get revoked and go unfulfilled. There may be a time when you are right, when you’ve done everything correctly and yet you’re standing alone.

Never sit down. Never bow down.

I say if you’re doing as you’re supposed to, you’ll often be met with opposition. I say give them all the proverbial finger by not falling into despair and angst and confusion. Use the negative energy by planning how to become better than your old idea of best. Champions are often challenged. You’ll easily overcome because you’ve got something they want. If you don’t know what they want of yours- think long and hard enough and you’ll figure out exactly what it is. Often, it’s something as simple as peace of mind.

Never give up. Recover and recuperate. Go back to the workroom of your soul and fine tune it to make sure you stay true to yourself versus falling into the oblivion of complacency through satisfying others who would never reach out to help you. Never make that area of your life vulnerable again. You are here for a reason and deserve great things. Never, ever second-guess that.

Shame on You American Shoppers!

Courtesy of Google images.

Courtesy of Google images.

Hey.

I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read an article among many ones available which all came to the conclusion the American consumer failed to meet the revenue expectations of major retailers across the country this past weekend.

What is wrong with you all?

Why didn’t you all drain every penny, nickel and dime recovered from your bank accounts, available credit limits as well as whatever’s underneath your couch pillows and feed it to their registers? Were the prices still too high? Surely there is some gadget, article of clothing or electronic item that could be yours to give this Christmas (never mind the word Christ in there) only to be forgotten about 365 days from now so you can also fulfill the retailer’s sales goals again next year.

I bet you all sort of took the moral high road by sitting at home with your families and spending quality time the loved ones they weren’t able to force to work either on Thanksgiving Eve, Black Friday or both.

Perhaps some of you have gotten off of the wheel of perpetual degradation into poverty through the temporary satisfaction and instant gratification that modern day materialism brings. In short: maybe we, the American consumer is starting to become more fiscally responsible. In shorter: maybe we all realize we have enough crap. In shortest: maybe we’re growing up.

Here’s to having a quality holiday season. Cheers!