Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Shopping & Politics

I FINALLY started my Christmas shopping today! Yay! I actually hit Metrotown, probably the busiest mall at anytime of the year. But I did something smart! I hit only one store and stayed there for 2.5 hours, browsing around and picking up some books for the kids I need to buy for.

One thing, though, I did shop at Chapters, and I couldn't remember why I shouldn't have. After the fact, now, I do (after a little research). Not so smart, after all: principal shareholders of Chapters support Israel Apartheid in the Middle East by financing "lone soldiers" who wish to serve in the Israeli military without having any actual family in Israel. Palestinian civilians, including children, have died at the hands of the Israeli military, driven out of their homes, and thousands remain in captivity. These shareholders have managed to influence Canadian policy on the Israeli war.

Now, I don't pretend to know the whole story. I am a victim of self-centred egoism, worrying only of my current needs, what I should've needed in the past and and what I really need to happen in my future. The world is so much bigger than myself, but "Current Events" actually turns out to be History, because, frankly, I couldn't care less, so I thought. That does need to change. For me, the term Current Events has always meant Social Studies from high school, and since it was never my strength, I've come to alienate myself from it. My mere action of switching stations while the World news is on TV indicates my subconscious fear of war, military regimes, and murder; to ignore the issue should be deemed unethical.

So does this mean the presents I have under my tree will ultimately fund the gun, the bullet, that will cause the untimely death of a Palestinian, perhaps a child? I shudder to think, extrapolations and impossible algorithms aside. Yes, I've contributed to the consumerism of the Holiday Season without any ethical guidance. Will I return the presents? No...they're wrapped (my practicality is blunt, sorry). Whether it's a sin or not, it was an unknowing sin, and although I don't claim to be eternally righteous, nor am I wicked. My sins are not deceptive or habitual, and I repent often (already fulfilling my Advent obligation just a couple of days ago through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, being a practicing Catholic).

Don't barrage me on making Christmas political. Remember, I'm the self-confessed egoist. I'm simply expanding my emotional attachment to all things mistletoe and Baby Jesus and making sense of it all. Perhaps by reassessing my place in the world and how I belong, I may come out a changed person. And change really is good....right?


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