My Winter Challenge

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kelsa
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My Winter Challenge

Postby kelsa » Sun Nov 21, 21:28 2010

Who here has heard the song "Christmas Shoes" by NewSong?

I fucking hate that song, and my issues with it are purely in line with "holiday spirit."

I hate this song because it focuses on the privileged person in the song. We get a description of the dirt on the boy, how young he is, is deteriorating family situation and their poor health. Then we get the heroic act, and the repetition of how their spiritual deity sent that little boy standing before him to teach him a lesson about humility and giving. How much of a special snowflake do you think you are, really? I'f your god made poverty so that you could be taught humility, your god sucks. I can't get over the arrogance here: the character throws down a few bucks, makes the kids night, and then we're treated to a ridiculously repetitive chorus about how this all helped to make him a better person and teach him a real lesson. I don't think you learned that lesson real well buddy, coz the problems that kid have extend past needing a pair of shoes to make his Mama's Christmas. His problems include the poverty he's living in and the illness and death that are the consequences of being poor in the United States. You gave him a bandaid to get him through the night of his mother's death.

Congratulations.

But bandaids aren't enough.

So this holiday season, I am giving up on bandaids and doing something to make an impact. From now until New Years Day, I am going to not be taken in my the temptation to administer a bandaid, instead focusing my efforts, personal and financial, on longer, more sustainable efforts to help others.

I've done enough social services work to know none of us can save the world single handedly. So I'm asking you all to think about doing your own version of a winter challenge, and really think about avoiding the bandaid solutions holidays encourage us to enact. When you're tempted to do something tiny, go ahead and do something big. Let's try to make the spirit of giving everyone talks about a reality by stretching ourselves and actually, really, truly giving.


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Re: My Winter Challenge

Postby Aum » Sun Nov 21, 21:45 2010

The artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote to the emptiness of existence. -W.A.

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miketheheadlesschicken
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Re: My Winter Challenge

Postby miketheheadlesschicken » Mon Nov 22, 1:29 2010

I definitely agree with this, kelsa. Though I have to be honest, the first thing this made me think of is a Patton Oswalt routine about the same song (NSFW):

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Re: My Winter Challenge

Postby Charli! » Mon Nov 22, 12:48 2010

I like the idea.. but I have no idea what to do!

I should try harder about being green, cos since I've been living at home its all slipped to fit back in with my family's ways and just avoid the hassle. So I could go back to actually being veggie, and using the car less (though I'd struggle with that- I only go to and from work in it and there are no buses, I work in a stupid place). Can't really grow my own veg in winter.

I do all the standard green things that are in the newspaper, but none of them feel enough. That goes for issues other than 'green' too.
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Re: My Winter Challenge

Postby monk » Mon Nov 22, 16:22 2010


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kelsa
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Re: My Winter Challenge

Postby kelsa » Mon Nov 22, 16:49 2010

No, help the planet too. Whatever your version of this is, go for it! The main thing is it shouldn't be a holiday time one off thing. However you interpret that, excellent! :)
I could paint you in the dark
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Re: My Winter Challenge

Postby Mordak » Mon Nov 22, 16:58 2010

This thread has me giving more consideration to continue on with my nursing studies. Although I feel I do more than enough as a carer who likes her job, I can't work in a hospital or out on the field, and completeing and passing an RN uni degree would give me more of an ability to help more people every day, and I'd probably find it just as fufilling.

In the meantime, I'm thinking of doing some campaigning and fundraising for the charity I donate to, the wilderness society.
"mordie-pordie-pudding and pie" kicked your butt and made you cry :P

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Re: My Winter Challenge

Postby Neko » Mon Nov 22, 18:29 2010

I plan to help my friend start her FAFSA paperwork.

At the moment, she lives on social security for mental illness and her whole life is paid for by the government. Her current apartment is paid for on the condition that she attends group (which I hope helps her in some way) and "classes" that she really doesn't enjoy--the teachers know less about the subjects than she does and she ends up teaching the class herself. She has implied several times that she in no way plans to live this way the rest of her life and I want to give her the tools she needs to get started. She's a lot smarter than she gives herself credit for, although this level of paperwork is a bit daunting. So I will help guide her through it. Even if she doesn't want to start taking classes next fall, she can at least get an idea how much aid she will receive. And after we figure out the paperwork, it should become routine after a few years.

I'm really excited about it, actually. Her life has been pretty shitty and this would be a really good exercise for her to feel in control of her future.
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