At this time of year we gather round, meet up, get together and celebrate.
We do this most often as our own blood families come together. For many also the family does not get together as issues, resentments, unexpressed walls built up deny the unity of family.
The message that is traditional to this time of year is one of love, compassion, care for those less better off. Charity of heart and pocket is called up. Yet so much of the original message, the essence of what it is to call oneself a Christian celebrating the Christ message has been erased from awareness, desire and will. Replaced by plastic consumerism, divisive declarations of better than thou – we are left in a snow lacking mire of self adoration/hate/loathing vanity.
The irony is the message’s origins were never exclusive to Christianity. The day of Christmas was designated not actually a birthday. The message was a common cry and exhortation for the human family to unite, to love, care and respect each other as unique stewards of a totally interdependent and interconnected planet of all beings. It did and always will be way beyond religious connotation or ownership. No one owns this message, we all need to share it as daily observance, not merely at specified times.
As we are asked to celebrate and its promotion is thrust down our throats by those whose actions and life examples are so often in complete opposition to that message, we never seem to question more. Like good sheep we shop till we drop, we expend anxiety on meals and food that is so often created in such indulgence, we conveniently forget our true responsibility to the greater family, near and far.
Easy of a Christmas morning to greet others on the street, outside the home with “Happy Christmas!” often the only time of any year when actual speech is shared with many strangers. This may make us feel exonerated for our lack of social interaction the rest of the time, yet it keeps us in a loop of disconnect.
We are told of the starving masses. More often not told of the poverty, need, hunger and desolation of so many others. It is often considered by selfish people replete with their Christmas table, bad manners to speak about the reality of deprivation of every kind on this holiday. Yet the spectacle of ignoring it because it is Christmas is proof positive of the utter insensitivity and hypocrisy we have created this festival to represent.
So much money not existing for social programs goes to the war chest. No major country is exempt from this vile tactic. Peace becomes a commodity that does not pay well, according to the spenders and decision makers, therefore is avoided other than superficially. This action is reflected in the superficial “happy” face, smiles we draw upon each season of good will. We are so utterously treacherous to ourselves in so many ways as to be blind to the reality around us.
We are not a species lacking in compassion. Neither are we a species unable to love, cherish and support. Yet we chose so often that selfish path.
Perhaps remembering we are a human family and each and everyone of us matters might be the very best thought to drive actions from here. It requires us to rise far higher within ourselves than we are presently doing. Each of us can do so much better, love so much more, be far more tolerant of others, develop a deeper empathy taking us way beyond the skin deep processes we subdivide ourselves into at present.
If we are to avoid even greater separation and division, human contact must surely start with touching our own hearts and minds. Only by our actions selflessly employed can we even begin to address something that reflects the potential of what we as humans are capable of creating.
It is never the lack of ability or tools. It is always the propensity of will we carry within to implement positive, progressive change from the same old. Our lives depend on it, our actions towards that goal will define the true message we need to practice.
Let us hope we develop enough wisdom to make it so.