Call me a grinch, but I’m not a big fan of Christmas.
What should be a celebration of the Prince Of Peace has turned into an International Capitalist Feeding Frenzy, with too many businesses and even whole economies depending on a month of consumer spending for their survival for the rest of the year. I don’t consider that a sustainable model for a personal budget and I doubt that it is any more sustainable when it is multiplied by hundreds of millions. It is a global potlatch that serves nothing but greed. In my not-so humble opinion.
The last time I launched into this particular bit of curmudgeonry, That Pesky Dan Goodman asked me what I think we should do instead. Without pause, I replied, “Kindness Day.”
No, not the occasional random act of kindness just because you feel like it, but conscious deliberate kindness, methodically planned and executed, whether you feel like it or not. An act of generosity that makes a difference for someone else.
My first thought was August 17th, the most nondescript day of the year. August doesn’t have any real holidays of its own and 17 is a number totally without significance in any logic system that I know of. Then I decided that one day a year isn’t enough, so I have declared a personal Kindness Day of my own on the 17th of every month. (What you do on the 17th is your business. What I do on the 17th will be an act of deliberate unselfishness.) (If I can think of one.) (It might be a stretch.)
To kick it off, I want to do a tribute to one of the most under-appreciated men in both computing and science fiction. (I’m not sure if this will be published on the 17th, if it isn’t I’ll have to do another act of kindness too….)