Today is Family Day and I am very grateful for this opportunity to spend time with our little critters. When I was growing up, we did not have Family Day, we had something better, it was called Sunday.
This is not meant as an opportunity to debate and yell at each other over the importance or the futility of going to church. Put on your big girl pants, and your big boy shirt, and make up your own mind. Lead your own life.
Sunday, once had a great importance, in a social context. I think as a society, we lost something when we allowed commerce unlimited access to our lives, and I think we are paying a heavy price.
There was a time, not that long ago, when no one went to work on Sunday. Ok, maybe not everyone. Some work had to get done. Farmers had to farm. Soldiers had to soldier on. Doctors had to heal. But generally, the vast majority of businesses were closed, except for a few restaurants, coffee houses, and a few movie theatres.
What was the cost to society?
Shop owners did not earn their keep that day, but it would be somewhat erroneous to assume that the money did not have the opportunity to flow into their pockets during the other six days of the week.
What was the benefit?
Mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, had nowhere to go. They could all stay home. The had the freedom to irritate each other for a full, uninterrupted day. There was no need to sell another big gulp, make more French fries, or wonder aimlessly through a mall looking to buy something, anything.
What is the cost today?
We work all year long, through all the seasons, except for a short, mandated vacation. It’s different of course if you are lucky enough to grind out a higher education degree, and secure yourself a professional post. If you’re a teacher or an accountant this doesn’t apply to you, but you should at least be able to see the value of having a Sunday to yourself. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone had that opportunity?
For most people, the reality is painful. Work is hard and it is only a job. Sit here, move this, reorganize that, restock this, and swipe that.
I’m no economist, and often wonder who the hell I am to speak on any subject for that matter, but it seems to me, some of the angst we face today is self-made.
What would happen if we allowed people the opportunity to reconnect with their family on at least one day of the week and not just a special occasion? What if that time was always dependable and expected?
Do we really need an oil change on Sunday? Can we not make our own coffee? (I can see some angry snarls now). Can we not buy a bag of Ruffles from Walmart on Saturday, instead of Sunday?
Maybe we should sober up Sunday instead of buying another six pack.
I’m not advocating a national movement to halt work on Sunday. I am just wondering if we are better for it. Maybe some brighter minds can examine or hypothesize if this unbridled commercial society we have created is making us any happier.
Happy Family Day!
That is if you are lucky enough not to go to work.