Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bah Humbug!

The holiday season is about giving thanks for the gifts that life has given us. But if you are like most people, that optimistic outlook has disintegrated like a mistletoe on fire. Countless hours huddled up in department stores or worse yet, camping out three days in front of Best Buy for the new PlayStation. And we really wonder why the rest of the world thinks we are materialistic, selfish morons?

It all starts with kids. I was in their position not TOO long ago. Christmas was not about giving but about receiving! A list for Santa 5 pages long...and worse yet, disappointed when I didn’t get everything on the list. I have two amazing parents but looking back, they probably should have taken me to homeless shelters and soup kitchens to see kids my age, and what they would not be getting for the holidays. Not to make me feel bad but to learn to give back and certainly, be more humble. How many different versions of Barbie’s do you really need? It is an essential lesson and one I learned later in life. I understand now how hard my parents struggled to give me everything they could but I didn’t see that back then. I only saw what they couldn’t give me rather than what they could.

Fast forward to 2006. A wiser Geiss emerges. Someone who sees the world with open eyes and has made a concerted effort to give back and help others. But today I sit at my desk with a ‘Toys for Tots’ box stowed by my legs and out of site. A friend had approached me about helping out and collected donations for the United States Marine Corps Program. The Not-for-Profit Charity that distributes donated toys to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The primary goal is to “deliver a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.” WOW! Sounds good to me. Unfortunately, the flyers we put up saying this exact same thing did not warrant a positive reaction from some.

When did “giving” actually start to offend people?

I am sure if the banners were about giving away a cruise or that coveted PlayStation 3, I could have kept them displayed.

Happy Holidays!

2 comments:

Today's Rant said...

For those readers that live near me, I will still be taking Toys for Tots Donations if you want to partake.

Thanks!

George T said...

I cannot believe the culture of our company will not allow for charitable works. I understand that people are wrapped up in their own little lives. After witnessing the tragedies of 9/11, the devistation in New Orleans, the Tsunamis, earthquakes and war torn parts of this globe, how can we be so cold??
My ferverent prayer is that the selfishness and greed that seems to be so ingrained in the human equation is the thing to go in our next evolution.
But I do not agree with you on one point. I have a sister so I know: You can never have tooo many Barbies.