I have a friend, she’s sarcastic, caustic, controversial, opinionated, loving, kind, loyal, honest, out spoken, Christianish, hard-working, and a bit of a danger to herself with tools. She’s kind of cute in a short girl sort of way. I accidentally became friends with her and I can not, now, imagine not having her in my world. She’s a confidante and a person I go to with the things I don’t go to with anyone else save two others. Sometimes, she even comes to me and it flatters me when she does. In short, pun intended, she’s everything I want in a friend. She’s completely human and aware of her frailties and failings. *editorial, yeah, being human means imperfection*
Why don’t we see people for what they are? In an age of the internet and alleged news that panders to our fears, we are becoming more divided. We are able to find views that more tightly conform to our fears and biases. Seeking out groups that reinforce our own xenophobic world view and dehumanizing those that don’t fit those views has become easier. It seems that the fringe has become the middle. Otherwise Godly and reasonable people hide behind the anonymity of a fake profile to post degrading comments about humans that differ in life or view. It also allows people to use it to spread their words without hiding and gain greater audience because of their position or fame and, yet, also spread words of hate, disdain, and fear.
Around this time of year, the religions that I have a passing familiarity with or, in the case of Christianity, greater than “passing”, have holidays. Paganism celebrates Yule. To them, the days growing longer after Yule are the return of light and re-birth. Hannukah celebrates the miracle of sacred oil lasting days longer than it should and the giving of life by G-d. We, Christians, celebrate Christmas and the birth of the Light of the World. The three of these have commonality in the celebration of something dark becoming light and the blessings of beginnings.
So, why do we not get it? Why do we want and expect to be respected for our selves and our faith and not give it? Why do I read words of an alleged man of God saying “they are not human”? Why do I see, when we are celebrating life and goodness, politicians being divisive and creating enmity where common ground should exist? What’s worse, why do I see people I know, reasonable and rational people, falling into the trap of believing those that pander to their fears?
It’s the Holidays. It’s the time of the year where we should be coming together to celebrate life. It’s the time of year that humans should be looking forward to the coming of longer days and warmth. It is the beginning of the coldest part of our seasons with the promise of new beginnings and greater hope. This is when we should be seeking common ground…
Do you wonder why I started out talking about a friend and her humanity and then veered? Because, although this is sort of about holidays, it is more about seeing and celebrating humans. She always tells me to “educate”. Her humanity is her greatest strength. ALL of her humanity is, failings and strengths. Her capacity for love and compassion as well as her ability to hate those that would do evil…and there’s one tiny thing I didn’t mention, she’ll, for all my love and admiration of her, never be a threat to my marriage because she’s gay. In the grand scheme of things, that’s beyond tiny.
This is the time of the year we celebrate Miracles. It is the time that we look toward Spring and the coming out of darkness. It is where we can see the coming of growth with the warmth we KNOW must come. The greatest miracle of all is that we are able to share this world with each other. Don’t look at the tiny things and miss the greater whole. Look to the life and light that is around us and celebrate. Be grateful for what’s given and yet to come…
Merry Christmas. Blessed Yule. Chag Sameach. Peace to all of you Humans.