Last Sunday as we watched our driveway disappear under a very thick blanket of snow, we decided not to fight it. The trip to the mall to do some last minute Christmas shopping was cancelled and instead we all indulged in the rare treat of an afternoon nap. It was glorious.
The morning after the storm I still couldn't get my car out of the driveway, so my husband Brian drove me to work in his little 4-wheel drive CRV. I thoroughly enjoyed being in the passenger seat, and despite having to cancel the list of errands that I had planned to run at lunchtime, it was wonderful not having to drive for an entire day.
By Tuesday I was back behind the wheel. Any sense of joy to the world had disappeared. Rather than being refreshed by a day of restricted driving, people seemed angry that Ma Nature had managed to get the upper hand for a couple of brief but shining moments. They were mad as hell and simply weren't going to take it anymore.
Cars cut in front of me, making really dangerous and stupid moves in the name of inching ahead a car length or two. The spirit of the season was nowhere to be found as angry motorists refused to yield to vehicles stuck on side streets.
Brian reported the same thing. At one point a young boy was playing on the snow banks piled high on the road. He began to lose his balance and started to tumble into the roadway. Brian honked his horn and slowed down, hoping to alert the child to the danger he was facing. Instead of stopping what he was doing, the boy looked directly at Brian and raised a defiant middle finger as he continued to roll into the path of oncoming traffic.
I am saddened beyond belief. In this season of supposed goodwill towards men - and women - we are so absorbed with our sense of entitlement that we refuse to yield to anyone or anything.
That, in a nutshell, is what's wrong with our world, and what's killing our home - the planet Earth. We refuse to give up anything that we perceive to be our God given right - even if it means killing ourselves, or the ones that we love. We are literally blinded by our own self-importance.
My niece calls the worst of us MIPs - More Important People. These are the people who truly believe that they are so much more important than anyone else that they double park in the driveway at the mall, leave their cars running while they run inside to buy whatever they perceive they need or want, and refuse to yield to anyone. These are also the same people who are likely to drive Hummers (like the idiot who cut in front of me earlier this week and then slammed on his brakes to make a U-turn in front of oncoming traffic) or big pig SUVs or bizarre hybrids that are neither truck nor luxury car but consume enough gas to power both.
A good friend used to say that the one with the most toys at the end wins. The question is, "Wins what?"
Here's the sad irony. Nobody gets out alive. In the end there is only the Universe and us. Each day is a precious gift. Each breath we take is a miracle, that is so far unseen anywhere else in that great black eternity of space. We don't need to destroy this garden paradise to prove that we are important. We are unique. How much more important can you get?
Maybe that's why after 2,000 years of bullying our way through time and space there is something in our collective unconsciousness that makes us stop on this the darkest and longest night of the year. Somewhere there is something that makes us light up the night and sing songs of great joy. Maybe, just maybe there is hope after all.