Americans have the opportunity this Holiday Season to decide if the glass is half empty or half full. For the past several decades we have become use to this time of year as a time when we open up our pocketbooks and remove our credit cards, race around towns with throngs of other strangers, all scooping up item after item. The motivation stemming from that deeply ingrained guilt of times when you had nothing to give to those who might decide to give you something.
What would it be like this Gift Giving Season, if we were to give each other some time together, sharing stories, playing games, reviewing the challenges and success of the year. Deeper gifts for each other at this slowing time of year. Even many of the trees have released their protective leaves.
The current economic slowdown, which I deeply believe will be more the norm moving ahead, actually gives us time to be with each other, instead of buying stuff and taking all the time and energy to create or move around that stuff in the first place. This kind of behavioral shift, while continuing to cripple the economic engine of our consumer society, has the potential to remind us another slower and possibly more fulfilling way to live. It was only 60-70 years ago, when our grandparents were young children, where the quality of life was quite high but much less consumptive then we have become accustomed to .
I am of the "glass-is-half-full" camp, so I see the possibilities of a happier and healthier future as we relearn how to enjoy ourselves without the need for endless mountains of stuff and free-flowing credit.