BIZTIPS - December 18, 2005

Biz Tips: This Christmas, Stop and Take Inventory
Sunday, December 18, 2005
By Art Hill

Only a week till Christmas. Hard to believe, but next Sunday night the mall parking lot will be empty, stores will be dark, and even coffee shops will be on holiday hours.

There’s still time this week to get those last minute presents. But more important, let’s take a quiet moment to think about the real gifts of the season. Despite war, illness, personal losses, and even the death of loved ones, we are still a world of families, friends, people who care about others…capable of hard work, great sacrifice, great joy, great love.

There are no clear economic measures of these values. We can sense when they’re missing, but no annual report charts the rate of increase in joy among customers. No stock table tracks the daily average of loving deeds.

On the other hand, joy is a rare commodity in places where there are no jobs, no businesses, no prospect of prosperity. Need breeds injustice as surely as greed. Entire countries have no economy to pay for education, commerce, the arts. Entire generations have lost the opportunity to dream and see their dreams fulfilled. How incredibly fortunate we are that we can afford what we have; that we can support our families and friendships and communities. That we can work to live, not just to survive.

So this week before Christmas, let’s stop for a moment and take inventory of our real gifts. Our businesses, jobs, skills, families, friends, communities, our commerce, our freedom, our peace. Only then will the rushing around make any sense, and the still quiet of Christmas night will speak volumes…peace on earth, good will toward all. And to all a happy and prosperous new year.

Content © 2005 East Oregonian