12 Wishes of Christmas

This past weekend, I was engrossed in some pathetically sappy Christmas movie with serious religious undertones [not that I have anything against G-d].  Due to the fact I reduced my cable package down to *basic*, I couldn’t tell you the station I was watching. Suffice it to say, it was one of the 2-22 channels.  (That ought to narrow it down, eh?)

The movie was about a woman named Laura, who feels everything in her life is going wrong. For example:  She loses her job. Her Hedge Fund boyfriend quits his job to become a writer (and for some reason cannot pick up on Laura’s signals that she’s ready to settle down, ahem! Get married!). Laura’s landlord makes her give up her dog due to apartment regulations…and…well, you get the gist.   Laura’s best friend Faith (how apropos) convinces Laura to go see a life coach (who is secretly an angel but Laura doesn’t realize until much much later…). The life coach grants Laura 12 wishes which she can submit via the coach’s website.  However, before submitting her wishes, the coach advises Laura to read the terms and conditions — it is imperative that she does so (of course Laura doesn’t read them. Are you surprised? Neither was I).  Laura is skeptical. I mean, who wouldn’t be, right?  To test the veracity of the coach’s website, Laura logs on and decides to wish for something simple:  she wishes her boyfriend would send her flowers.  Suddenly, there is an earthquake like feeling and voila! flowers appear at her door.   Hot diggity dog!  Laura is hooked and proceeds to enter more wishes.   Like most people (I assume), Laura wishes for all material sh*t. (Pardon my French.)  She also enters wishes for her best friend Faith, which I thought was a nice, selfless act.   And then, one day, while leaving the mall, Laura runs into the coach who chides her for being so cavalier with her wishes.  With only 2 wishes left, the coach advises Laura to use them wisely.  She doesn’t (naturally).  Despite the wishes, Laura’s life isn’t any better post-wishes than pre (shocking!).  Laura learns her boyfriend is cheating.  She has a falling out with Faith. She uses up one of her two remaining wishes to get her job back and then uses her last wish to have a co-worker fired (without realizing said co-worker has a sick daughter).   At this point in the movie, I couldn’t help but think: Be careful what you wish for honey.  I am not a religious person, but I do believe in energy and karma.  I believe what goes around comes around – in fact, I think most people do.

Have you ever heard of the expressions: change your thoughts and you will change your world? Or, change your views and your world will change? Something like that, right? I’m too lazy to look up the exact phrases.  Truth be told, as I watched the movie, I became infuriated that Laura was wasting her wishes on material shit and revenge, believing that these items would bring her happiness. Which got me to thinking, what is it about our nature as humans that we seek out material stuff to make us happy?   I’ve seen people rack up credit card debt buying the latest and the greatest and yet they don’t seem to be very happy.  They drive the most expensive cars, they have their homes decorated by professionals, and their kids are in private schools – and yet, they act out in ways that tell me, they are not happy.  These people I speak of have the best money can buy and money is no object and yet underneath the money veneer is/are miserable people. For example: just watch the Real Housewives of: [fill in blank] and you’ll get a glimpse into their unhappy material world.

I once worked with an executive who told me:  Happiness comes from within. You can choose to wake up and be happy every day and share it, or be miserable – the choice is yours.

I have never forgotten this.

Incidentally, the girl who cuts my hair refuses to play the lottery because she believes, from the depths of her soul, that money will not make her happier, rather, it will bring her unhappiness, headache, heartache and trouble.  I think she’s on to something… wouldn’t you agree?

***

In closing, if an angel disguised as a life coach granted me 12 wishes.  This is what I would wish for:

1.)    I wish every single person on this planet would become a vegan – forever!

2.)    I wish cruelty to all animals would end – forever!

3.)    I wish human and animal suffering would end – forever!

4.)    I wish people would be kinder to one another

5.)    I wish people would believe in climate change and take a stand to reduce their carbon footprint

6.)    I wish for cures for:  cancer, leukemia and Aids

7.)    I wish people would stop caring about material possessions

8.)    I wish everyone would recycle and re-use.

9.)    I wish there were no more wars

10.) I wish racism, discrimination including religious discrimination would end – forever

11.) I wish…

12.) I wish…

As you can see, this is as far as I got.  And if you’ll notice I didn’t wish for: money, a fancy car, a big house, expensive clothes or purse/bag, a horse, or any other material item. I also didn’t wish for revenge on the people who have hurt me.

Now I’d like to turn the tables on you.  If you were granted 12 wishes, what would they be? You don’t have to tell me, but perhaps you’ll consider this the next time you write an entry into your Gratitude Journal and if you don’t have a Gratitude Journal, well then dammit! Go on and start one.

Yours truly,

-GE

 

17 thoughts on “12 Wishes of Christmas

  1. I may try my hand at some wishes later, but I’m in agreement with your hair stylist about lottery tickets. My 9 year old son was bugging me “why don’t you ever by lottery tickets,” and I said, “well, people who win tend to get spoiled by the money and they end up worse off. I like my life as it is.”

    “But think of all the video games we could buy,” was his response. I guess I have some teaching to do… 🙂

    • Ha-Ha! Your son is funny. He doesn’t realize how bored he will become with those games.

      BTW, I work with economists and I sent them the link to your post from yesterday — they loved it, especially the cartoon.

  2. I’ve seen that movie too! You know I could have rattled off 12 wishes in a heartbeat at a different time in my life. Your wishes are admirable and selfless. I’m way too analytical in my thinking process e.g. of course we all want world peace but if I could “wish it” like in that movie, there would still be consequences. Example: World peace falls over all the land but we end up in a world economic crisis because foreign and domestic markets have invested heavily in the military and now all of the armed forces are out of a job…even those that are not in “active duty”. They are coming home to a jobless market. Chaos breaks out in the streets, looting, etc. See what I mean? Be careful what you wish for. I have to think in terms of baby steps. Like being more conscious of how I walk in the world. Remembering to be kind to people even if they push my buttons (that was one of your wishes, too). Working on the process of forgiving those that have hurt me. I still struggle with just the little sh-t, like when I’m driving and someone cuts met off. I’ve got a lot of work to do! No, I don’t want to be granted 12 wishes. I couldn’t handle the responsibility. I do keep a gratitude journal – a must have in my book too. Great post GE!

    • I see your point and despite my dad being ex military, having fought in Korea as well as the stories he has told me about the Korean War, I still would rather wish for no wars.

      Just sayin’

      🙂

  3. As to the lottery: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/opinion/nocera-the-bad-luck-of-winning.html?_r=0

    I sort of suspect if we really were granted wishes it would be like winning the lottery — it would seem great at first, but ultimately unintended consequences and the fact that we can’t really change the core essence of people means it would crash and burn. It’s a good way to state ideals, though, and therefore worthwhile!. I’ll approach it a bit differently, focusing less on outcomes (though a bit) but more on the process to get there:

    1. I wish every parent would treat their children as individuals (not property) deserving of love, respect and time.
    2. I wish that the internet had an automatic “fact check” that came up like spell check on any claims that are clearly false.
    3. I wish humans would communicate with each other openly and with self-confidence, not afraid of criticism or rejections.
    4. I wish the Vikings would beat Green Bay today (OK, I had to put that one in)
    5. I wish that the public knowledge and abhorrence of children being used as soldiers/sex slaves in conflicts around the world, but mostly Africa, would lead to a concerted effort to spend what it takes to end those and rehabilitate the victims.
    6. I wish the same for the world wide sex trade industry that earns over $50 billion trafficking in mostly young women/girls.
    7. I wish humans decided to take some time daily to reflect on their values and what brings them true satisfaction, rather than hiding from themselves in distractions and consumption.
    8. I wish every item sold had a label that stated what people/animals suffered and how to bring that product to market.
    9. I wish that transparency came to all government and business transactions, so people could know just what the “movers and shakers” are really doing.
    10. I wish every person who does harm to another in any way could have a glimpse of/taste of the pain that his or her actions cause.
    11. I wish that the leaders and people of the world decided to come together and come up with a clear way to deal with climate change and its consequences.
    12. Selfishly, I wish for wisdom in my own life so I can make choices that are truly ethical, not distracted by desire or rationalization.

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