Do Unto Others

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have much to be thankful for: family, health, and financial security. Sure, I wish I had gobs of money, no aches and pains, and a book on the New York Times best sellers’ list, but what truly brings happiness?

As we once again approach the Holiday Season, I’m worried about our society. It bothers me that Black Friday has become more important than the day before, that Christmas has become a savior for the economy, and books are being sold that tell us how to find happiness. Why have we made material goods so important? Why is the marriage of a woman on television and then her almost immediate divorce so enticing that it demands front page news?

I’m not an overly religious person, but I think we’ve lost something precious, and that’s a moral guideline. I believe in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. If everyone followed that rule, we wouldn’t have people being kicked out of their homes, stores being robbed, kids killing kids, and on and on.

I’ve written romance novels and now I’m writing mysteries. Why? Because in both genres there’s a positive conclusion. In the romances two people who complement each other finally realize they can find happiness together; in the mysteries, a wrong is righted and those doing the wrong are stopped.

In my books I can right the wrongs—good will overcome evil—but in life what I do personally has little impact on society. Nevertheless, this holiday season I’m going to avoid all stores that have forced their employees to cut short their Thanksgiving Holiday to come to work;  I’m going to support local businesses and buy American, whenever possible; and most of all, I’m going to take time to remember the real reason why we have these holidays…that it’s not for how much turkey you can eat, how many parties you can attend, or how many gifts you can buy or receive.

So…Happy Thanksgiving to one and all…and take time to do unto others as you would have done unto you.

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12 Responses to Do Unto Others

  1. Annette says:

    Thanks for the important reminder, Maris.

    All the trinkets in all the stores won’t fill our emptiness. We need to do good to others. We as a society are hungry for it. Remember how many volunteers rushed to New York to help with 9-11 and the hurricanes? It doesn’t have to be on CNN to be worthy. It’s right under our noses.

    All the best, Annette

  2. wonderful reminder, Maris. thanks for a worthwhile read

  3. If everyone would just stop listening to advertisers TELL them what they wanted, we’d all be a lot better off. Here’s to a wonderful Thanksgiving, Maris! Spread the joy!

  4. Enid says:

    You have a good heart, my friend. And show a lot of thoughtfulness here. I especially like that you can “right the wrongs” in your stories. We all hope to be able to do that in real life, and reading about that process can affect how we react to the wrongs we see around us. May we all have the courage of your heros/heroines!! Bless you.

    • Maris says:

      Thanks, Enid. I know you have the courage, you’ve been showing it for years, every time you’ve walked into a classroom.

  5. Great post, Maris. I, too, wonder about the frivolous things that pass for news. I never thought about the reason I like to read and write romance, but what you say makes sense. At the end of the story, all problems are solved, and the characters can live “happily ever after.” Too bad that doesn’t often happen in real life.

  6. Diane Burton says:

    Great post, Maris. I disagree on one point. What you do does make an impact on society. What we all do individually makes an impact on humanity as a whole. The pervasive “me, me, me” attitude breeds a lack of consideration of others. Hopefully, there are those who believe as you do in the Golden Rule. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  7. Maris says:

    My thanks to all who took time to comment. In a way you’re right, Diane. If each individual did good, it would have an impact…and it has to start one by one.

  8. Lucy Kubash says:

    Some very good thoughts. You are so right. We are losing sight of what’s most important. The whole Black Friday shopping experience holds no appeal for me. It’s more important to spend the time with family than trying to find a good deal. Nothing I want to buy bad enough to entice me out at 3 in the morning! And it’s even getting downright scary when you see the behavior of some shoppers. I’ll just enjoy this holiday and save my shopping for after Thanksgiving week.

  9. Julia Masters says:

    Great post, Maris. I believe in the Golden Rule and can recall my parents often reminding me of it as I was growing up. . . Whenever I wonder how much impact one person can have, I recall the Chinese dissenter in Tiananmen Square in 1989 who held up a tank with an upturned hand. With his action, he became a symbol of hope against oppression. . .One of my favorite quotes is “To the world you may only be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” I know it sometimes seems like we have little impact on the world around us, but with a smile and a kind word, we can often bring joy to those around us in unexpected ways. I hope you have a blessed holiday season surrounded by family and friends 🙂

    • Maris says:

      Thank you, Julia. I also like your quote: “To the world…to one person you may be the world.” We often don’t know who that one person is, so it’s important to view everyone we meet as someone who is looking up to us for guidance…and to act accordingly.