Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The gifts we need - a proposal.

Gift giving within the culture of American Consumerism is deeply troubling to me.

Have we attempted to replace what we need with cheap, hollow, plastic substitutes that leave us feeling yet more hollow?

Here’s what I need . . .

and what I think we need:

We need more love.

We need more generosity – both sharing with others and receiving the kindness of others.

We need more time to sit quietly with others – those we love and those we do not understand or do not know.

We need more peaceable conversation with no agenda except coming into the awareness of one another and perhaps the Other.

We need more quiet mornings, calm evenings.

We need more walks in nature, more swimming in streams, and more time to watch-and-listen to leaves as they flutter in the wind.

We need more hand peeled fruits and individually sliced fresh vegetables.

We need more time to talk with one another and to sit in the stillness of shared space without words.

We need more hot drinks and cool beverages in their season – with time to sip their flavor.

We need more hugs, more time to cuddle, more time to embrace.

We need more thank you cards – expressing thanks for being with one another and spending time together.

We need more compassion.

We need more time to sow seed – and harvest it.  Literally.  We need gardens and plants and the time to nurture and celebrate their mystery and bounty.

We need more opportunities to walk, stretch, swim, cycle, hike, or other exercise.

We need moments of meditation.

We need solace.

We need each other.

We need quiet.

We need the beauty of sitting together with those we love, in quiet, relaxed, unfettered calm – punctuating conversation with conversational silence.

We need more board games and time to play “tag” or “hide-and-seek.”

We need time to grieve - and we need people to sit with us in our grief.

We need to spend more time with those much older or much younger than ourselves, to remember  the beauty and fragility of where we have been and where we are heading.

We need simple crafts that create tangible goods that endure – woodworking, knitting, quilting, and building.

We need connection – with our true self – and with the true self of those around us.

We need cool showers in summer and warm fires in winter.

We need friendship.

We need some perspective on  existence – within and without a faith tradition – and we need to be attuned to how others discern existence and meaning in life and after-life.

We need imagination!  Oh! How we need imagination.

We need peaceable conversation and persons who build bridges within and among people groups.

We need to appreciate the change of seasons – the emerging blossom, the change in color in the leaves, the calm and serene quiet and beauty of freshly fallen snow.

We need wisdom - the wisdom from our elders who have lived life well.

We need the wisdom of other cultures, biodiversity and a celebration of the beauty of vibrant cultures, histories and languages.

We need gratitude.

We need calm.

We need peace.

No television or television show, no streaming video account, no social media connection, no plastic thing, no new “as-seen-on-t.v.” gizmo, no polyester stuffed pillow or plush-pet, no outfit-today that will be-out-of-style-next-season, no electronic gizmo . . . . will satisfy the deep longing of human need.

If only we were willing to intentionally restructure our lives so that we could participate in serene shared solidarity with other humans and the beauty that can be found in all Creation!

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Image from: http://www.webdesignbooth.com/beautiful-photos-of-water/

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