There is a major online real estate company in the UK that is currently running an ad on radio which I find disturbing. In this commercial an empty nest couple are discussing the kids having left, but their rooms and childhood belongings remain in place for their eventual visits. It is then that there is a message ringtone and they shift their stance and say “after all its only a bunch of old junk.” The indication is that they just saw how much money they could make by selling their home. What makes it worse in my view is the company spokesperson then over dubs saying that said company “knows the real value of your home.”
Of your home? Of your house maybe, the harsh impersonal sale price of the bricks and mortar, but the property in and of itself is not what makes a home! Home is an intangible full of relationships, emotions, and memories. A house might be only a house, but a home is so much more.
We are bombarded by such messages. Advertising and “social influencers” strive to indoctrinate us into the lie of image. Life, however, isn’t about the number of your followers. It isn’t about sexualising our toddlers with “mini make-up” and “sexy clothes.” Yes, the stuff is for sale online, not to mention preteen pageants and the like. Films and game have gratuitous sex and violence, and television is awash with swearing – all in the name of ratings and advertising revenue.
We as a society have gotten so tied up in “what’s in it for me,” and the “bottom lines,” that we are beginning to miss the real values of life. Even our “altruistic” politicing is often reduced to the image we produce. It isn’t, if we are honest, always about social justice, but rather that WE seem to be champions of the cause. Worse still these are fluid. Global warming is eclipsed by race relations, that is eclipsed by gender politics, that is eclipsed . . . .
I am not saying that all well meaning people are just going through the motions, most probably aren’t, but when our own reputations, wealth, etc., dictate our “bottom lines” we need to pause and take stock. Just like the message in the real estate ad. Have we missed something when “home” just means a house, or justice means just making some noise about something?
Others will stay home, and watch their television sets
There will be those armed to the teeth
Others will trust the good of humanity,
And that disruption will be brief
Some on the Right will have the their militias
So will the Left, but odds are they will miss ya
The attached photo struck my fancy and gave rise to the idea of what a Liberal militia might be like. Okay, that said, it is rather tongue in cheek as I am generally left of centre in my views, though I am also an 0311 infantryman. So please read it as a bit of fun.
It was the most acrimonious meeting of the Neighbourhood Association that anyone could remember. It was even worse that the one where the “foreign” family broke protocol and used cooking ingredients not on the “approved list,” for the annual Founder’s Day picnic.
“It breaks with tradition, and we all know how important tradition is,” Margery Cooke said authoritatively as others nodded in agreement.
“But times are changing,” Mable Hunt retorted, to applause of as few of the more progressive members.
“Well that might be all well and good over in Highland Park, but it won’t wash here in Pleasant Acres,” Margery countered.
In the end there was a very tense vote, and with the breaking of tradition the motion passed by the margin of three votes. Times were indeed changing in Pleasant Acres and the hanging baskets on Main Street were going to feature purple rather than red petunias this year. It was quite the coup.
Will and Eva sat comfortably before the fireplace in their snuggery enjoying a hot mug of cocoa. As Eva took a sip, she scanned the sea of packages adorned in red and gold wrapping paper, and her attention was drawn to the star atop the decorated evergreen.
“Will – Honey, do you ever think about the star on the tree?”
“What about it? Do you think we should have got a fairy instead?” he replied.
“No, and they’re not fairies, they are angels. It’s all about the story about shepherds following a star, and bringing a lamb to baby Jesus. Don’t you remember that from primary school?”
“Something like that, but wasn’t it a bunch of kings? I was a king in Year Four,” Will said reflectively.
“Yeah, that’s the story,” Eva said. “And I was sure it was shepherds because I remember, Danny Bowman had a tie-died tea-towel as a hat.”
“What were you? Mary I suppose?” Will queried.
“No, I was panda. You know, one of the animals in the barn. It was the onesie I had so mum didn’t have to buy a costume.”
“Anyway, that star and the shepherds. I bet they were cold out in that field when they were taking care of all those lambs.”
“I guess so,” Will replied a bit puzzled.
“Well I was thinking it’s cold tonight too and though I doubt there are any shepherd out there, I bet there are some homeless people. It was really cold last night too, and there was a lot of frost. The thought of it even makes me shiver. What if we take that extra pair of mittens that Aunt Martha sent you, and give them to one of the homeless people?”
“Kind of like King Winzaluss, giving alms, huh?” Will asked.
“Yeah, then we will really have the meaning of Xmas,” Eva said.
“Okay, but let’s wait till the morning when it’s warmer,” Will suggested.
“Good idea,” Eva said smiling as she took another sip and cuddled into Will.