(On Being Bombarded by a Diversity of Messages, an Individual Can Still Retain Her Sense of Making a Choice and Decision)
In the Freethinkers Group on Facebook of which I’m a member, a currently discoursed upon topic is the commerciality of Valentine’s Day. There were those who expressed their being against the celebration of Valentine’s and there were those who said they enjoy celebrating the occasion for whatever its worth.
I belong to the latter.
“Just like the sentiment that Christmas could be every day—to me, celebrating an occasion like Valentine’s, Christmas, New Year, or a Birthday is fine and okay. It serves as a reminder, symbolizing something special or important, marking something on the calendar.
“And, of course, celebrating Valentine’s on the 14th of February or Christmas on the 25th of December or my son Evawwen’s half birthdays every August 4 doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to express my love and affection for loved ones on other days, or that I love them less on days other than Christmas, Valentine’s, or their birthdays.
“If we are to follow the logic of not celebrating any occasion because we can celebrate its intent any other day anyway, then we might as well abolish the calendar and treat any other day just another day. Let’s therefore don’t care if today is Monday or Thursday.
“But of course, we couldn’t and we shouldn’t do that. Documenting activities and occasions by marking them on calendars help us organize our lives and day-to-day activities and preoccupations. It makes every single day unique, and this makes special occasions more unique.
“And what about the so-called profit-making schemes of business-minded people who take advantage of occasions like Christmas, Valentine’s, and any other holidays to sell whatever ware they have?
“Well, it all boils down to choice and a sense of conviction. No one can force anyone to buy flowers or chocolates on Valentine’s, right? They can sell as many flowers and chocolate bars as they want on such occasions and they can shove their ads on our faces as frequently as they could, but the power to purchase or buy these products remains in our hands. The choice is in the hands of the consumers after all.
“So, people who have the tendency to ban occasions like Christmas and Valentine’s because they don’t approve of the so-called consumerism and materialism involved in these occasions are not much different from people who try to burn books, ban Rock music, or persecute ‘witches’ (or wizards for that matter) just because they don’t like these or don’t share the sentiments of people who appreciate these.
“On Valentine’s Day, I will still greet my wife Happy Valentine’s and will treat her to lunch or dinner and might surprise her with flowers or balloons, but this doesn’t mean that I love her less on any other day.”
“I don’t get to choose whether I want to be bombarded by these ‘buy, dine, splurge’ messages. Crass commercialization is what it is. Good for you if you have money to throw away.”
Here’s my final reaction:
“What about the ‘right’ of those romantic ones who wanted to be bombarded by such ‘crass’ commercial messages?”
Sa Madaling Salita
Sa panahon ngayon, samu’t saring kaalaman at nakalilinlang na impormasyón ang pumapaligid sa kamalayan ng maraming tao. Bagkus, nasa sa bawat indibidwál pa rin ang kapangyarihang mamili at magdesisyón para sa kanyang sarili. Talino, paniniwala sa sarili, at malawak na pananaw ang matibay na armas sa panahong ito.
Or, in Simple Words
“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t live alone anymore on an island. To live life in this age is to coexist with a diversity of individuals and be exposed to a great diversity of ideas, beliefs, and concepts. If one is left with no choice but to get bombarded by such messages, at least an individual can retain her sense of making a choice and decision—whether to ignore, heed, or consider such messages.
“The world has become a bountiful ocean of information and misinformation. Despite that, I would still happily swim or dive in it with a clear sense of purpose and a logical sense of reason. I’d rather choose this than to remain clueless, ignorant, and solitary on some undisclosed island.
“Happy Valentine’s to all!”