I remember the days when all shops closed on Sunday. I think Saturday morning shopping was a new idea just happening. Late night Thursday was at the Richmond Mall and Friday night in Nelson – usually to the movies (State or Majestic) or the spacies parlour.
We have the same old argument about which shops should be open during the Easter Holidays. So of course you hear both sides of the discussion. Should all shops be allowed to open or should all shops close? That it in a nutshell.
Some will say that opening the shops is good for business and the economy. Others will say it will be detrimental to those who have to work. I’m sure there are other points.
All arguments have pros and cons. One side sounds good until you hear the other side. Often we chose just to hear the side we like.
I don’t know exactly when our economy became so fixated on shopping. It’s like the country will implode if we can’t shop. We all know the panic buying the day before a long weekend. We hear losses in astronomical figures when closed.
However, I remember when the nation went into lock down. Now I know this was an extreme event and people and businesses did suffer. The thing I remember most about that time was the sense that we as a nation could take a breath. Even nature had a chance to revive.
It seems we are slaves to our own economy. We work long hours, we give up free time, we get into debt, we seem to be chasing our tails trying to get ahead. And to be fair some people do succeed. But at what cost? Relationships, health, time…
“No one on their deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at work.” This familiar quote from Paul Tsongas, a U. S. Senator. This quote is still around because it is relatable to many people.
For some reason we have created an existence that basically helps the few rich get even richer while the majority are working their butts off just to survive; if even that.
This brings me to my experience with people at the end of life. No one at a funeral speaks about the car the person drove (unless they were a car nut). They don’t talk about the house(s) they had. There is virtually nothing spoken about the things we spend so much of our life focused on.
The focus is far more on relationships, the person’s impact on the lives of others and who they were as a person (even if they were a grumpy old bugger).
I’m not a keen shopper, so I would be happy having more shops closed every Sunday. I like the idea of us, as a nation being able to take a break and smell the roses, go to the beach, work in our garden, read a book, visit friends – even invite someone over for coffee instead of going out for coffee.
Maybe keeping us so manic trying to stay afloat means we don’t have time to even imagine changing things. Will the economy crash if we did that? What happens if the economy improved?
When your life comes to an end and if you have the opportunity to look back, what would you hope you see?