Yeah, it’s Christmas time ! Or the dictate of the conventions…

Ah, the habits, the traditions, the conformism!

– « It is necessary to do it, it is like that, you cannot make otherwise »

– « if you do not come, they will be so disappointed »

And worse, the glance of incomprehension, disappointment, irritation, even horror which you read in the speaker’s eyes because you just said, « not, I will not come this time « . You become then the worst selfish person in the whole world or worse, an alien, a foreigner… This, to a certain extent, is not so false… I must specify that I lived more than 15 years far from my original culture.

And which period could be more convenient than Christmas to receive right in the face the MEASURE of the obligations due to the social conventions imposed by the cultural environment!?!

I do not consider myself as a die-hard nonconformist or an extremist social misfit, but rather as a thoughtful rebel or a clear-sighted dissident, in the sense I refuse to act according to an imposed convention by a social or cultural environment which does not suit to me, or by which I refuse to be abused.

Ah, Christmas and its swarm of pleasures… The rush for presents in the overloaded stores. Christmas carols ceaselessly from morning till night, wherever we are. The profusion of the most extravagant decorations and of the most brilliant lights. The debauchery of plastic and other health hazardous materials but which make so beautiful each toy for children (and for adults). The mass over-consumption, the nonsense of the state-of-the-art gadget which we do not absolutely need but of which we cannot do without, and the feeling that we have to comply with the rule, even if we do not believe in Santa Claus any more…

December 23rd, 2 pm, before I set off with my mother and « our » hillock of packages, to meet my brother, my sister-in-law and my adorable-turbulent-full-of-life 5-year-old nephew/godchild for Christmas Eve, my grandfather called me, to wish me a merry Christmas. And he says to me: « you know, when I was a child, I do not remember exactly, but we just had under the tree 2 or 3 mandarins « . And it was maybe not too bad, I say myself…

Because, indeed, where is the spirit of Christmas in this excess, this higher bid of presents? I know, « he will be so pleased »! But I have really the impression that especially pleases the adults, who found the « right » present, that flatters their ego, and at the same time, prevents them from facing certain responsibilities in our changing world. The global warming, the dangerousness of the chemical materials, the overproduction, the crisis, we shall well have time to take care of it after the holidays… After those of Christmas, Easter, spring, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and even Halloween! Ah yes but there, we will be soon again on Christmas…

As a chameleon, I adapted myself, I took the colour of Christmas, and I « played by the rules ». In the evening of the Christmas Eve, I gobbled up the foie gras and the smoked salmon after the small canapés of the aperitif with champagne, followed by lobsters, pheasants with cream, and traditional dessert – and I am sure I forget some…

The next day, I applauded to the opening of presents, immortalized the blissful smiles of the young and adults, but noticed that everybody had badly slept because of the too-heavy-meal. I noticed as well that my nephew, satisfied by all this pile of presents so wished, after some time, would have been just fine with only one, because he just did not know any more which one choose.

Setting his heart on one of them, a 3D screen console games, he began to investigate the various games, in which to crush a competitor or murder the enemies carry violence and competitiveness at the top of the best values to defend… But very aware about the pernicious effects of a screen on the health of the little darling, his parents began to tell him, at first friendly, then more and more aggressively, to leave this damned thing away and do something else. Well, him, he does not understand so well why we offer him things that are forbidden to him after half an hour, why we prevent him from playing with presents brought by Santa Claus, neither why we asked him to make a wish list a few weeks ago… As a result, seeing his friend in the garden outside, he asked to go out and finally, they played happily ever after with their old ball till the mealtime…

A few days before this memorable event, already, my zenitude had been damaged… Not only the program was imposed on me – daytime, departure -, of course without worrying to know if I wanted to participate, but I even had no choice about the present I was going to offer, because it had already been bought! Welcome back to France, after 15 years abroad, I thus have « to behave according to conventions, obligations, to do what we expect from you « ! Anything shocks you in these words? Personally, I am shocked.

In fact, I am not free any more, I have no more my free will of my own choice, or my own decisions, I am just the slave of a certain vision of the world and its conventions, and especially, I have to submit myself to it! I have to behave of such or such way, make that or this just because « it is like that ». No matter if my deep convictions are denied, relegated at the level of a simple childish whim, I do not have to be myself but just the image imposed to me by the social network and what you expect from me! And when I say « you », it is actually my own family…

I think the world in which we live pollutes the planet so much that the world which we are going to give to the next generation – to my little nephew – will be so dirty that he and his friends will have great difficulties to live in and to bloom in? No problem, everybody around me agrees with that.

I think that authentic values, real human values, have disappeared, so to speak, from the daily life? All my circle of acquaintances recognises it.

I think compassion and respect are among the virtues to be defended and to be given to my small godchild? My whole family admits it.

But no way we will break the rule of the Christmas consumerism, beautiful presents and copious meals!

The games consoles are made in China, with bad chemical materials harmful for health, and have cost thousands of workers job in of our own country… No, it is true???

Half of the ingredients of the delicious feast of the Christmas Eve are imported, produced against any ethics, demanding thousands litres of fuels, tons of water, and so « fresh » that they have no more nourishing material… Stop, you mess around!!!

However, it is true, I have to recognise, all this is of use to a thing, or rather, to two essential things. The first one, enriching all the rich in this world, who make us happier via capitalism and consumption. The second thing, giving us, for a few minutes or a few hours for the most fortunate, the impression of feeling less empty and more satisfied. Up to the next chapter, where they will tempt us with new things, which will make us undoubtedly even happier!

 

Voilà, it was my rant after Christmas. I know, « having negative thoughts is also a pollution, it is necessary be free of that », etc…. Actually, this year, it’s my way to say NO to social conventions, which limit thoughts and lock up people. I maybe have the secret hope that the world will quickly open its eyes, will react in front of current incongruities and will lash out, refusing finally to obey stunning rules of nonsense to return – for the best of all humanity – to real human values. No, the majority is not always right, especially when a selfish and criminal minority manipulate this majority and puts it in danger for its own « good »…

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