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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011


Red, blue and green, slush sleet and rain,
I’ll take the snow and white, I don’t want the rain.
Presents and gifts, fruit cake in vain,
Christmas is fun, yet winter’s a pain.
What’s it about, what’s it all for?
We buy SO many gifts, we always want more.
It rains or it snows, it’s dark or it shines,
The poor go without, the rich ones still dine.
Poverty goes on, buying is fine,
Giving is best, but I want what’s mine.
TV and radio ads all around,
Don’t know what we want, don’t care what we’ve found,
I’m tired of the season, I’m fed up with gifts,
Don’t care about presents or even if that sweater fits!
‘Cause the reason for the season, the theme of the time,
Is not about stuff, not about what is mine.
It’s all about a manger, three wise men and shepherds,
Gold, frankincense, mir, not you or I, not him or her.
About alms and charity, peace and yes love,
A baby’s birth, of war to cease
A reason to carry on,
Without enemies, without foes, only PEACE.
There’s Claus, Rudolph, Frosty and Charlie Brown,
Scrooge and Cratchet and King Wensles  I’ve found,
All of these folks, their faces all around,
Have a message of love and their givings abound.
For a long time ago, in a land far away,
In a stable was born the light and the way.
‘Cause the reason for the season, the theme of the time,
It’s not about stuff, not about what is mine.
A promise of peace, a promise of love,
Of harmony, joy and beauty from above  
  

Monday, December 19, 2011

PRE-Occupied


This time of year should be about “doing” and “giving,” not “consuming” and “whining.”
Now that the Occupy Toronto crowd has returned to their airy lofts, artist’s apartments, mothers’ basements or subsidized housing units, I hope they’ve found something else productive and worthwhile to occupy their time with.
Seems to me that there are many people with much free time on their hands in this land of ours. It begs me to ask this question; What do protesters do with all this time when they aren’t protesting, marching, thumping their drums, and chests in some cases, disrupting peoples’ lives and wasting the true average person’s tax dollars? Don’t get me wrong, many of their concerns are similar to mine. But their method of voicing these concerns seem to be self-deprecating, and almost insulting to those that are really suffering. Actions speak louder than words, and after all was said and done, there was a lot more said than done!
A lot more can be done. Many causes can be advocated for and progress made towards a betterment of society. But banging drums doesn’t do it.
Two causes seen to be promoted at the Occupy Toronto rally are causes of great importance to me. Causes I believe we can all appreciate given the social climate we find ourselves in. Causes we can all lend our support to and actually make a difference.
Poverty is ongoing and has been with us indefinitely. It’s a symptom of a society that is permeated by greed, uncontrolled consumerism and selfishness. Poverty is not endemic to the Third World, inner cities or Native reserves.
Small steps can be taken by all of us. All it takes to make a small difference is being aware. Aware of our surroundings, aware of the people we see daily that struggle to make ends meet. And also an awareness of our own spending habits. How can we be critical of others, whether they be government or big corporations, yet we ourselves are spending beyond our means or buying items that support the greed we mock and protest against?
Make a real difference! Instead of pounding a drum, sort tinned goods at the local food-bank. Serve at a soup kitchen. Instead of raising a placard or your voice, raise someone’s self-esteem, visit a senior, listen to their stories. Or drive a disabled person to an appointment.       
The widespread abuse and ultimate destruction of sensitive environments is nothing new. Instances of this and a belief that these trends must be stopped have been documented for thousands of years. The Romans, the Chinese, even the Syrians were known to divert rivers, completely deforest mountainsides and drain vast areas of swamp. 
Simple acts of responsible resource use by all of us will make a far bigger statement and have a far more reaching affect than staging a protest. Environmental responsibility is about doing, not saying. Plant a tree, pick up a piece of trash, take a walk instead of a drive.

So now that the protesters have gone home, where can we find them? Are they volunteering at the local food-bank, picking up trash at a nearby park? Or are they at the malls buying a smart phones, flat screen TV’s and video games? I have my suspicions.