Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Choosing a birthday card

I spent a ridiculous amount of time recently choosing a birthday card for my wife, Julia.  (Let me clarify myself  . . .  that's not to say that Julia isn't worth that time!)  When I worked in Christian retail and handled greeting cards every day, I could pick one out in a nanosecond.  Today, not so much.  If the folks monitoring the security cameras in the store where I was shopping had a camera trained on me, they must have been wondering what was going on.  I moved up and down the aisles reading cards, then circling around again and reading some more.  Just how hard can it be to pick out a birthday card?  In a nutshell, here's the problem:  there are too many choices.  I think Henry Ford may have had the right idea when he offered his first mass-produced car in any color you like, as long as you like black. Having such a vast number of choices in cards just gets me in trouble.
How we honor someone on their birthday has a lot less to do with which card we choose or what gift we may give them (or even if we choose a card or gift) than it does with how we treat them the other 364 days of the year.  So, for me, spending an inordinate amount of time choosing a card is a good example of "majoring in the minors."  I realize that what I do every day is a far better reflection of my love and respect for someone than what I invest in a gift or a card.

Here's my resolution:  I'm going to invest more time in demonstrating my love and respect for others every day and less time fretting over whether I have have chosen the best possible birthday card for them once each year.  Somehow, I think that will be more appreciated.

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