Tuesday, December 24, 2019

This Christmas, We Don’t Need More Stuff. We Need More Love

I suggest reading the whole article.


If you’re reading this, you are incredibly lucky.


Because it means that you have enough to satisfy your basic human needs. That is, you have a roof to live under, nutritious food to eat and clean water to drink. Or, to put it differently, you have what billions of other people are lacking.

Sadly, many of us who’ve been brought up in affluent countries aren’t aware that we’re living in a tremendously unfair and cruel world. A world where the 9 richest people of our planet possess more combined wealth than the total held by the poorest 4 billion. A world where almost half of the human population lives on less than $2.50 a day. A world where 40 million people are enslaved.


Soon we have Christmas again. You know, that part of the year when we do nothing but exchange gifts in the form of products, an act that is marketed to us by big corporations as the only way to prove our love to our friends and family.

You see, in our crazy world even love has been commercialized. It is sold to us and we are more than willing to buy it — many times even with money we don’t actually have.

According to a recent report, 48 million Americans are paying off debt from last year’s Christmas shopping. But this won’t prevent them from going deeper into debt this year. In fact, it’s expected that the average shopper will spend $825 on gifts alone this holiday season — that is, about 50% more than just five years ago! (Should I pull out my hair now or better leave it for when I’m done writing this article?)


To me, if there’s anything we need more of, it’s intimate looks, warm hugs, kind words, and generous smiles. Not candy canes, scented candles and Christmas-themed socks. In other words, we need more of human connection and less of what humans can get for us.

Having said that, I’m not trying to suggest that offering material objects as gifts to people is bad or wrong. It can actually be a great thing, depending on what those gifts are and to whom we give them. If we give people things that can improve the quality of their lives, then that’s totally fine. But what’s the point of giving people stuff they don’t need and that will soon end up as waste in landfills? Would it not be much better if, for example, we spent our excess money to help those in need — the poor, the homeless, the underserved — whether directly or by supporting individuals and organizations that are trying to turn our world into a more beautiful place?


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