Monday, December 5, 2011

If We Didn’t Have Holidays

If we didn’t have holidays…

Would there be all this arguing and fighting that occurs at this time of year?

Would families be fighting over whose house to go to for which holiday?  

Would there be all the stress and anxiety over making preparations, meals, buying and wrapping gifts, traveling, having to spend time with in-laws and other not-so-liked relatives and friends, or even having to spend it alone?

Would we be eating too much food, much of it unhealthy, gaining weight, getting the flu, colds, or worse?  Would there be as many deaths at this time of year?  As many people in the hospitals?

Would we be spending too much money, sometimes money that we don’t have, putting us further in debt, or upset because we couldn’t spend what we wished we could have spent?

Would there be arguing over who should get what for Christmas, if anything?  Would people, particularly children, be angry and upset if they didn’t get what they thought they should get? Or if they didn’t get anything at all for Christmas?

Would people be fighting and arguing over whether or not they think Christ is being taken out of Christmas?

Would there be fighting and arguing over whether or not we should be saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays?”

Would there be fighting and arguing over whose holiday should be celebrated, and whose decorations should be put up where? 

Would there be much of a holiday if we took the commercialism out of the celebrations?

Would there be hate, bigotry, and intolerance over holiday issues just because someone celebrates in a different way or believes in something different?

I think not.  We have gotten so far away from what Jesus and all the other great spiritual masters have taught, and the holidays have become something so far removed from what they were meant to be, if at all. 

These are just my thoughts as I’m pondering the holidays when I remember that Jesus said, “Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  Or when the Dalai Lama said, “My religion is kindness.”  Or when Gandhi said, “Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.” Or when Muhammad said, “Kindness is a mark of faith, and whoever has not kindness has not faith.”  Or when Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “Spirituality is allowing compassion and love to flourish.”  Or when Buddha said, “Have compassion for all beings.”  I could go on. 

Personally, it doesn’t matter to me at all what holiday people celebrate at this time of year, or any time.  It doesn’t matter to me what decorations are put up or where.  It doesn’t matter to me if someone says “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” “Happy Hanukkah,” “Happy Kwanzaa,” or whatever greeting someone wishes to use.  In today’s day and time’s, when people mostly ignore each other, I’m just happy that someone would even wish me anything, or to just acknowledge me at all!  The rest doesn’t matter.

Therefore, at this time of year, I don’t so much want to celebrate a holiday as I do to celebrate the teachings of the great masters who taught us to love one another.  I choose love, to celebrate love and kindness, and to celebrate this beautiful world we live in with everyone living together as one.  That is the kind of world I choose to believe in.   I choose to celebrate a holiday of love, which should be celebrated each and every day of the year. 

I choose to go within to connect directly to the God of my understanding.  I don’t need a holiday to do that.  I don’t need a particular greeting to do that.  I don’t need to see particular decorations to do that.  And I certainly do not feel threatened when I see how others celebrate.  Of course holidays can be a good thing, but we should really examine why we are celebrating them in the first place.

Again, these are just my thoughts and what I believe, and has nothing to do with anyone else.  Nor am I trying to tell anyone what or how to believe, or that anyone is right or wrong.  I am also not trying to start a debate or get anyone up in arms, especially if what I write threatens anyone’s personal belief systems.  Because I choose love, that means that I also choose to love people enough to also be open-minded with what they believe even though it may differ from my own beliefs.   I love and embrace our diversity.  And I love that the God of our understanding made us in order that we can learn to love.  Because, my friends, that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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