Consumerism and Militarism are the overwhelming fundamentalist churches that we face today. We pray when we buy. We sing perversely to some god when we shoot. As is always true with fundamentalism – they want to blend into our everyday life and become completely normal. Americans are supposed to support these violent systems as a matter of course. The corporations stood amazed last year as the recession pulled back the curtain and there the corporations were, fat old wizards yanking on Oz’ controls. Consumerism was outed!
Militarism continues to be mostly unquestioned in America, but there is a direct relationship between Buy! Buy! Buy! and Bomb! Bomb! Bomb! The cancer of corporate expansion drives both the malls and the wars. The idea of a sustainable economy is anathema to Wall Street as well as the joint chiefs. And as Christmas’ playstations look more and more like military training films, we see the murders placed in our childrens’ hands.
Freedom from the corporate Christmas is usually thought of as freedom from credit card debt. We’re not just escaping – we are creating. As we buy local – Local-lujah! – or as we substitute a holiday experience for a corporate product, we are making Peace, too. This is the secret revolution in giving that breaks the back of corporate fundamentalism. Peace is not fundamentalist. Peace does not have a belief system that threatens non-believers. Peace gives us the freedom to believe in many things, to ask an infinity of questions.
Big retail joined with the war-mongering fundamentalism that festers in each of the major religions. All the fundamentalists on all sides of the conflict supported the war in Iraq. Pulling back for the global picture, big retail silently goes along with the 1,000 American off-shore military bases that we maintain with our taxes. Since most of the stock in the big box stores is sweatshop products, companies like Wal-Mart want to maximize American control of the producer countries and the thousands of miles of shipping lanes.
Mahatma Gandhi said “Become the change you seek.” We make Peace by with-holding our money and buying local, or making our own gifts. With gifts that are made by sharing experience with our loved ones, we become the Christmas we seek. It’s right here, it’s our bodies, in our souls. I’m promising you to weatherize the house and that is my gift. I am handing over a short story that I wrote myself and central character is you and that is my gift.
If the gift is close enough to the love between us, just our souls here in our home – then the fundamentalism that makes violence in our name withers. On American televisions the bombing is made palatable by the way politicians decorate it with the rhetoric of giving. We are bombing for freedom. We are bombing as an act of generosity. We can stop talking that way now. Bombing is never a gift. This Holy Day, leave the corporations stranded in warehouses of unopened boxes and undropped bombs and unshot bullets. The gift of Peace!
At Christmas-time – we see the corporations go to work. All advertising wants us to demote the things we already have, so that our presents must be purchased, and as broke as we are – purchased on credit. But that kind of celebration the natural world disagrees with. And we’ve been noticing the vehemence of this disagreement. The earth’s evolutionary pace of change has critical-massed with opportunistic diseases and melting ice-caps and the unbearable silence of extinction. This is the form the earth’s free speech now takes. What is life on earth saying to us?
En la época de Navidad, veemos que las corporaciones empiezan a trabajar. Todos los anuncios quieren degradar las cosas que ya tenemos, para que nuestros regalos esten comprados, y, porque estamos sin ningun centavo, comprados por credito. Pero el mundo natural no acuerda con este tipo de celebración. Y hemos estado notando la vehemencia de este desacuerdo. El ritmo evolucionario del cambio de la tierra ha maximado con enfermedades oportunisticas, y las capas de hielo derretiendo, y el silencio insoportable de la extinción. Esta es la forma que ahora toma la libertad de expresión de la tierra. Que dice la vida terrestre a nosotros?
Stop and focus, let your senses dilate. Find the thing you already have that may be under-used, over-looked, hiding in plain sight. Cast a new eye on your old street. Create your gift HERE. Don’t drill it and pipe it thousands of miles. Don’t sweatshop it and keep a fleet of ships and trucks. Don’t wrap cheap stuff in plastic and idle yourself in that traffic jam from Christmas Hell.
Para y enfoca; deja que tus sentidos dilatan. Encuentra la cosa que todavia tienes, que es, posiblemente, bajo-utilizado, sobre-mirado, escondiendo en visto claro. Pone un ojo nuevo en tu vieja calle. Crea tu regalo AQUI. No lo encuentras en un busco de petroleo y mandarlo por oleoducto por millares de milas. No lo compras de un fabrico explotivo y mantener una flota de botes y camiones. No envuelvas las cosas baratas en plastico y quedar en trafico con el coche en punto muerto en un atasco de trafico infernal de la Navidad.
This Christmas if we give deeply we will shop local. A sustainable economy comes from noticing what you do with your hands, your eyes, your legs, your off-hand thoughts, your growing skills. Don’t drive to your gifts this year -- only buy things you can walk or bike to. Consume less, and sense what is near…
Este Navidad, si damos profundamente, compraramos localmente. Una economia sustenible viene del notar lo que haces con las manos, los ojos, las piernas, tus pensamientos casuales, tus creciendos talentos. No manejas a tus regalos este año – solamente compra las cosas alcanzable por pie o bicicleta. Consuma menos, y sientete lo que está cerca…
Will we listen to the 120 mile-an-hour whisper in the earth’s wind? This year all gifts should be simultaneously to a loved one and to the earth. The earth is the beautiful stuff of which your loved one is made, and you are made of the earth, too. So if we give good gifts, then we are the earth loving the earth. Now that is a very Holy Day. Amen?
Es un dia santo, cuando escuchamos el sospiro que vuela 120 milas por hora en el viento terrestre. Este año, todos los regalos deben estar simultáneamente para una persona querida, y para a la tierra. La tierra es la cosa hermosa de que está hecho tu querido, al fin, y tú estas hecho de la tierra también. Este año, si damos regalos buenos, estamos la tierra amando la tierra. Ahora, esto es un dia santo. Amen.