All I Want For Christmas...

I guess it's that time of year again. The leaves are mostly off the trees, the temperature has begun to slide, and before you know it the holidays will be upon us. I mention this only because it's becoming more and more difficult to keep track of things like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not so much because the old brain cells took a beating back in the '60s, but because our priorities and our focus are no longer under our control. Now I'm not going to point a finger at the media, because as culpable as they are, they're not the only ones responsible for what's happening to society. As individuals, we bear the burden for our conscience and our complacency, and as such are just as guilty as the network journalist or the newspaper reporter.

When things like the war in Bosnia, or the skyrocketing crime rate take a back seat to the media blitz of Windows '95, that says something about our responsibilities as "civilized" people. And when advancements in the genetic research of disease, or the discovery of new worlds in the universe are overshadowed by the frenzy of a celebrity murder trial in Los Angeles, I believe it's time for us to step back and ask ourselves; Just what the hell is going on here?

By time people read this, Thanksgiving will be right around the corner. Take a few minutes, mentally list all of the things that you're thankful for, and then ask yourself if the things on your list are really worth celebrating. Now don't get completely bummed-out, wait until Christmas for that. What ever happened to "Peace on Earth" and "Good Will Towards Men"'.' The last time I looked, they got brushed aside by an airfare war (which is really ironic when you can't keep your Air Traffic Control system up-and-running). I've got to tell you Sparky, the world is a different place then the one we grew up in, or the one we thought we'd be in today. And we've got nobody to blame but ourselves.

We permit CEO's to draw seven digit salaries while "downsizing" their companies. We authorize convicted felons to be released back onto the streets. We rationalize the use of tobacco and alcohol while waging a war on drugs. We allow ethnic cleansing while preaching "Never Again! ". We standby while big business negotiates around product recalls, or propagates human suffering through never-ending litigation. We ignore the homeless, abhor the sick, tolerate the illiterate, and blindly accept the rhetoric of our elected officials. If we're the ones who caused the problem, then we're also the ones who can fix it. Forget about race, or color, or religion, or politics, or money, or any of the other meaningless criteria for measuring an individual's standing in the grand scheme of things. When it comes right down to it, we are all unique in that we are all the same. We are humanity.

So when you cruise the malls this holiday season shopping for the folks, the wife, the kids... treat yourself to something you not only deserve, but can share with the rest of the world. Pick up a little self-respect, pride, courage, humility, kindness, hope, sacrifice and love. In fact, pick up as much as you think you can handle. And for heavens sake, don't stick it in the closet with the other ghosts of Christmas Gifts past. This stuff goes bad if you don't use it! Just ask any of the jurors at the O.J. Simpson trial.

With warm wishes for the holidays.....

Alan Sadowsky