'Tis the season to be
If you're anything like me, you too spend
the entire year looking forward to the holiday season. I have dragged myself
through the spring, summer and fall semesters just to get to this one month
of excitement and tolerable weather. Winter Break always brings welcoming
rest and relaxation from the stress of final exams and projects.
But this holiday season is different. Undoubtedly,
we will all be reflecting on those lives lost during the terrorist attacks
and thinking about our military personnel who will
not be with their families this year.
The American theme of "united we stand"
should be prevalent during this holiday season — but I must say, Thanksgiving
was hardly a reflection of such an idea.
Let's start with driving. I encountered
numerous emotionally charged traffic jams during my Thanksgiving travels.
Some drivers acted like it was against their religion
simply to merge. Others honked and wouldn't
let other cars change lanes in front of them. These selfish travelers must
have forgotten that the operators of those
vehicles were most likely American citizens
too, maybe traveling to visit their grandmothers or something.
Who doesn't like the idea of a Thanksgiving
spent with a grandmother? Apparently some drivers are ignorant to such
an idea and did everything in their power to ruin
someone else's mood.
Retail is an absolutely horrible job to
have during the holidays. As college students, we probably know several
people who worked retail positions this past weekend (if
we didn't work them ourselves). Unfortunately,
I was suckered into going to the mall on the day after Thanksgiving, only
to see scores of temperamental shoppers being
rude to retail employees and other fellow
buyers. They acted as though they were competing against the Taliban to
buy that one last stereo on sale for 50 bucks.
And finally, the token holiday family scuffles
... If your family is large enough, then heated disagreements are practically
holiday protocol. Sometimes it's difficult to
remain calm and respectful when you are
all crammed into a small space for several days.
Some people want to watch movies, while
others want to watch football. And some don't want to do either.
However, it's important to remember that
the people you cut off on the roads, yell at inside the stores or throat-punch
at the dinner table are your fellow Americans. They
are the people you are calling to unite
with when you proudly drive around town with your American flags and stickers.
Don't let a tested temper defeat common
decency. Be kind to all those you encounter during this stressful holiday
season. We stand united in shopping malls, on roads,
in classrooms and everywhere else on this
American soil. "United we stand" should be an unconditional motto. And
if you're saying it, you'd better uphold it.