Do you allow society to force you how to behave?

2/13/2014 Update:

Anyone that really knows 411 – understands our independence – so I thought I’d bump this Valentine’s Day editorial from years back. Doing things “just because everyone else is,” is not a mentality that guarantees your survival.

Giving should never be forced

(Article originally published January 19, 2007…)

antivalentine.jpgI’ll probably catch some flack for this, but hey, I’ll admit it: I’m not too keen on “forced” holidays.

I believe that if you really care about someone, you’ll show it in your own way, and on your own schedule. If you’re a real friend, lover, relative or sibling, you’ll be true all year round, and that is what I feel is more important than anything, not just a few days a year. You don’t have to give the best, most expensive, and elaborate gift to show someone you care. All that does is show that you’re a good gift-giver!

Now that time of the year is coming around that is somewhat stressful for many people. Valentine’s Day. On this commercial holiday, some people get engaged and others even break up because they didn’t get a fancy (fill in the blank: arrangement, dinner, romantic trip, jewelry). Many people in the workplace compare notes and brag to one another. Some kind of Olympic event of “who got the best/biggest/nicest.”

Like a brain-washed “Synchronized gift-giving” event that validates your existence on earth. What is unique about doing the same thing everyone else is doing? Why do most people feel pressure and others don’t? I’ve seen instances where relationships get challenged due to some disappointing turn of events. People question their love for each other because of “failure to give the proper gift.” Crap, I say.

I can totally understand the social aspect of “fitting in” and just “doing it because” or “easier to get it over with, than catch shit from the S.O.,” but a true relationship should never be challenged by such instances. If it is, then I would presume it just wasn’t meant to be, and one should be happy it surfaced sooner rather than later. But the blatant commercialism of this “holiday” has reached epic proportions. Companies spend millions upon millions of dollars hiring the best ad execs to produce the most mind-melding commercials and print advertisements that practically hypnotize most people into believing it is absolutely necessary. “You better get your girlfriend this (jewelry, car, trip) or else she’ll be riding away nude on a horse into the sunset with Brad Pitt.”

It’s a losing cause, though, because I’m sure most people will disagree with me, and that’s all fine and dandy. But I ask those people: Is receiving a gift on a commercial holiday proof that someone cares about you? How do you know it’s sincere and not forced? Would you feel bad if you didn’t get anything? If so, why? Do some people just “want” so that they can “have?”

Anyway – If you are still hell-bent on Valentine’s Day, here’s some other non-opposing articles that may help:

Happy Friday!

Hoboken NJ

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