Do you have a day of rest and religious observance? How about an important holiday? No, Valentines and Halloween don’t count. I’m referring to the big old holidays, like Easter, Christmas, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, things like that. The stuff that is observed by billions of people. Holidays that were around BEFORE there was a greeting card industry. Wait a minute, WAS there a BEFORE time for greeting cards?
Anyway, your holiday. Your day of rest. How much is it worth to you? How much to give it up? Would you take credit?
We all have a price for everything. Some of us hold ideals that we’re willing to give our lives for. But even our lives have a price tag associated with them. And if you’re willing to average out these values across society, it becomes even easier to figure out. Let’s take Easter and Pesach (Passover), since we just observed them a few weeks ago.
We know families get together, but how far are they willing to travel? On average, if a family member is too far away they won’t come to dinner. If they are close, they come. That distance costs something to travel, and that’s part of the value.
Some people have jobs that don’t let them follow a normal schedule. So they have to forgo the pleasure of family and observance in order to keep their job, serve the company and society, and ultimately secure the future of their own family. The extra amount they get paid is part of that value.
People spend time getting ready for the holiday. They fix up their homes. They buy the nice and traditional foods. They may spend extra time getting clean and making themselves beautiful. They probably also take extra pains to make sure they don’t say anything nasty to Aunt Sadie who was so terribly insulting last time she was over that …
Excuse me, I’m getting carried away. At any rate, there is a cost to all that work. All that pain. If we were aliens paying a visit to our backward Earth cousins, we could infer the value of the holiday by all these things. We could make it easy and choose only one thing, like spending money. But in that case something like Christmas would be the all out winner. What if eating candy was the one measure? In which case Halloween would come in first, with Valentine’s day a close second.
So, here’s to your holidays – past and future. I certainly hope they’re worth it!