Merry Christmas 2009

SUBHEAD: "Don't worry, Be happy!", or do you prefer "What, me worry?"

By Juan Wilson on 24 December 2009 for Island Breath -

Image above: Mad Magazine's mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, in Santa hat. Computer collage by Juan Wilson.  

It's Christmas Eve. Often a stressful time, gotta finish off the gift shopping, fill the larder for guests and family, get the place cleaned up, put up with your idiot brother-in-law and his spawn for a week.

The usual end of year finale. It's no accident that Christmas takes place during the darkest time of the year. It's also no accident that it is the end of the year.

As has been pointed out many times, it's also the beginning of the new light of the cycle. Perhaps we all need to learn the ability to let go of expectations held in the past.

Hopefully, with less stuff and more friends. Reformulate a simpler, less consuming, more content life in the new world. I'm not advocating whole-hearted embrace of either Bobby McFerrin's popular song;  
"Don't Worry - Be Happy!" 
Or Alfred E. Nueman, mascot of William M Gaines' Mad Magazine; "What, Me Worry?" But, doesn't it make more sense to be happy than to worry? The origins of the word "worry" is Old English "wyrwyn" which means to strangle, bite, harass. If you worry something you grab it by the neck and shake it to get the results you want.

 If you have to worry, and you want to avoid a lot of unnecessary suffering, do your worrying over an issue you yourself can actually do something to solve. Realize, however, there is a bit of a catch when it comes to taking action, and this goes to the heart of Christianity (and many other world religions) -

The catch is the Golden Rule:  
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  
There is a variation that I embrace that may be a bit more proactive.
That variation could lead to a simultaneous solution to otherwise intractable world problems. "
Take actions that you would not mind all others taking." 
In other words, do anything you want towards a solution, as long as that is what you would encourage and expect all others around you to do. I believe if we all worked on this premise our collective actions would preclude destroying the world and its creatures. For us in the "developed" world such action by individuals it will mean plenty of down-sizing. For the "developing" world it means that you won't get what we once had. And for people in the "undeveloped" world, the results should be a good break. My downsizing this Christmas was to do all my shopping in the locally owned bookstore in my town, Talk Story Bookstore.

I rode my bike there with my trailer on the back to carry home the loot. I spent a long time finding used books for the people I love most. It wasn't expensive and I did not have to burn anything but a few American dollars (and some calories) to do it.

Hey! Season's Greetings to you. Aloha.

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