If we think of holidays, we tend to envision warm beaches far away or urban skyscrapers with expensive restaurants, where we stay at hotels and eat in restaurants, where freshly cooked meals are served by people whose job is to smile at you. After a day of being serviced here and there, we return to our hotel room, which is cleaned and organized. We feel respected, there are people serving us. It is a rather different life than our daily lives, cooking meals for ourselves and scrubbing our own bathrooms. That might be why holidays are the things we look forward to, during our late-night exam preparations and cold winter nights walking back home from Grainger.
To take it into a deeper level, though, I’d like to spotlight the people that make your holiday possible. The flight attendants, the waiters, cashiers, and room service personnel. Though being in the same spot and same time, to them, this is work. While you talk, drink and play, there’s a person behind with a sore leg and arm. Your clean room and crisp sheets don’t just come to being.
To make one’s holiday, another must work. In other words, not everybody can be on holidays. There needs to be an input to be an output. In an individual level, you can always be on a holiday, if your circumstances allow. But in a more holistic sense, that can’t be the case.
For me, understanding and owning this simple fact really allowed me to appreciate a lot more. When I am truly enjoying something, there are people and circumstances that make it happen. My holidays, or in some sense, my privileges and blessings, are a result of the hard work of others. This analogy could be stretched even further. The food we eat, the electricity we use, the security and safety we thrive in, all comes with a cost. Our Amazon two-day shipments come from tired drivers and an environmental cost, and the meat we eat is cheap because they are farmed ‘efficiently’. This holistic mindset allowed me to not only appreciate things more, but gave me a better perspective on analyzing causes and effects.
So I gently challenge you, to always think of the cost of your holiday, however literal or symbolic, and always try to thank those who make it happen, and fully understand the costs of your actions. Furthermore, I encourage the readers to maybe be a giver of holidays, where your service and thoughtfulness brings people comfort and happiness. Because the holiday season is, after all, for giving.