October 22, 2012

The Hell of Heaven on Earth

Oh God! It’s that time of year again. Time for the streets to fill with mindless hordes rushing hither and thither pandering to the commercialism that fleeces their pockets and stuffs their bellies, making penniless, debt-ridden, fat paupers of them all.

I know that’s a bit strong, but when you watch the Christmas-obsessive pushing two mountainous, overflowing trolleys of food and unwanted presents around the supermarket that’s about to cost them over £300, you have to wonder what they’re going to do with it all. Feed their entire family, complete with all near and distant relatives? Feed their street? Solve the homeless and hungry situation? Feed the nation? You can bet it isn’t the only shopping trip they will make either. You just know some of it will end up as landfill when it goes out of date or is so left-over it’s going mouldy in the fridge. And all this on the credit card; paid for in plastic from an account that will only exist once the card has been swiped.

The baubles, bangles and glitter would do Versace proud and only serve to highlight the contrast between the bright lights of obscene opulence and the poverty of the homeless person sleeping in the doorway of the shop selling it all. How many people stop to speak to them and give them a handout on their way to fattening the bellies of their well-off and well-fed bank managers? Do not presume the person in the shop doorway is there through choice or a perverse want. They are not some form of alien scum or a violent scrounger; they are you and me. It is not ‘there but for the grace of God go I ...’ but rather ‘there because of the vagaries of society go they…’. A civilised world would be taking care of them rather than taking care of themselves. But that’s the Western way of life. Christmas will create more stressed and depressed people than are sleeping on the streets each year.

Surely, if Jesus ever existed he would be turning over the market stalls and casting the wealth of the gluttonous to the masses. I’m sure he would have been sickened to see what we do as celebration in his name.

If we’re going to celebrate Christmas as a time of family and love, then we need to think about our fellow humans and the need for love they have rather than the need for love we have. Jesus was not born in a department store, nor did he spend his life in one.

I am not a believer in God or Jesus, but I am a believer in the philosophy on life the Bible, and all other religious teachings, preaches. Love and compassion for your fellow man? Bah, humbug.

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