Be Resolute

Happy New Year’s from everyone here at Soft-Core Sophist! [Ed. note: Hi! SCS’s regular editor is on vacation for the holiday, so they brought me on a temporary basis and allowed me to provide my comments.]

Chances are that as part of the new year, you made some resolutions. Chances are, those resolutions are terrible. You’ve probably already given up on most of them, or decided you’ll actually start it tomorrow, which is pretty much the same as giving up on it.

So let’s work on making new resolutions. Resolutions to make you better. Not some vague nonsense like “exercise more” or “join a gym” which require long commitments you’ll never keep as you fall into your familiar ruts. Let’s eliminate the fears you have. Continue reading

It’s a Terrible Afterlife

As we close in on Christmas, traditions are being brought out of storage and renewed. One tradition for NBC is showing the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life, and watching it is a yearly staple for many Americans.

The story of George Bailey being shown the tragic consequences of what would happen if he was granted his wish of having never been born is beloved, placing 11th on the American Film Institute’s original list of the 100 greatest American films ever made. It was also their top selection for most inspirational film ever made. Remember that as we go through this, that the body whose sole responsibility is judging films made in America chose this as their best inspirational film the country has ever produced.

Many people, of course, would agree with that assessment. George, facing a low point in his life on Christmas Eve, seems ready to kill himself, and makes that wish that he’d never been born. Angel-in-training Clarence comes to Earth in the nick of time with a splashy entrance, and shows George how much he has touched others’ lives. People learn the message that everyone can have a major impact on other people, being a force for good just by being good. That’s one lesson to learn. I learned a different lesson. Continue reading

Holiday Creep

Today’s Thanksgiving, so it seems only natural that we talk about Christmas. That’s right, there’s no escaping the holiday creep.

I didn't mean this one, but you can't escape him either.

I didn’t mean him, but you can’t escape this holiday creep either.

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The Spirit of Giving

The holidays are fast approaching. With the first month of the Christmas season nearly over, that means Thanksgiving is almost here. It’s a time to appreciate what we have and think of those less fortunate. This is a popular time for donations to people who cannot afford to have a Thanksgiving celebration of their own.

On an overall level not necessarily connected to the holidays, retail mega-conglomerate Wal*Mart looked out and saw some of its own in need of a helping hand. They have set up The Associates in Critical Need Trust to provide grants to employees who have fallen on hard times, such as through the death of a spouse or a natural disaster, to provide some relief when it’s needed most. But that’s a corporate undertaking, and sometimes the holidays demand a local touch.

One store in Ohio is making the news for its charity. As an example of a store-wide, rather than company-wide, initiative, it is running a food drive to provide help for those who can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal. The drive is to benefit Wal*Mart employees. The people being asked to help out are also Wal*Mart employees. Continue reading