Today I was listening to a discussion on NPR about retail businesses being open on Thanksgiving day, and how right or wrong that decision may be. One of the things I love about public radio is the fact that they support open debate over many topics, with views from both sides.
One person was saying that hey, it’s a business decision, it’s part of the economy, it’s the way things are going now, with such a competitive retail market – stores having to compete with online retailers, yada yada yada.
Another was saying yes, but what is it doing to our society when we can’t even have ONE DAY where folks can take time off and spend with their families?
The response to that was, well, what about all the people NOT in retail who have to work anyways? Police, firefighters, hospital workers, etc. Add to that the fact that many retail workers were jumping at the chance to work the holiday, for the extra pay. Who are we to say they shouldn’t work if they want to?
Then a comment from a caller came in, so angry and vehemently AGAINST the idea that anyone should work on this holiday, and that it just makes everyone look like greedy slobs, having to make money, or needing to go out shopping for that amazing deal only offered at midnight turkey madness. And how embarrassed she was to call herself an American, and lots of other vicious spewing.
To which I say:
Can’t we all just get along?
Personally, I think part of the problem with society today (yeah, I’m going there) is that everyone is looking to blame somebody else for everything that has gone wrong in their life, in the country, the world, you name it. The Conservatives blame the Liberals; the Muslims blame the Jews; the Christians blame the Atheists; the Blacks blame the Whites, who blame Everybody Else – and vice, vice, vice, vice versa.
JUST BE NICE TO PEOPLE.
I’m so sick of it. It’s like a bunch of kids on the playground, all pointing their fingers at each other:
He did it!
No, HE did!
She did it first!
Maybe it’s having a brother with a tumor in his head that puts it all into perspective. The Jews, Blacks, Conservatives, Muslims – nobody put that tumor there. Not even God. It just is, and it sucks. It sucks that he has to go through a week of heavy-duty physical therapy just to be able to remember how to put his pants on or tie his shoes. It sucks that his wife is so worried and stressed out that she had to be hospitalized as well.
So when I hear people bitching about how horrible it is to want to work or shop on Thanksgiving, or, Christians telling people they will “go to hell” if they don’t believe in Creationism or have an abortion, or Hamas bombing Gaza because of WHATEVER IT HAPPENED A THOUSAND YEARS AGO. Just fucking love thy neighbor and get over it.
So tomorrow, break bread, even if it’s with people who irritate you or done you wrong or stole your boyfriend. Just be Thankful you have someone to break bread with. Be Thankful that you have bread to break. Be Thankful that you have the ability to read this, and computer access. Be Thankful that your house didn’t get washed into the ocean. Be Thankful that you can sit around the table with those you love. Even if you less-than-love some of them.
And be Thankful that you don’t have a tumor in your head.
And if you do have a tumor in your head, I love you. I’m sending you a big hug.
And be nice.