Happy Christmas!

charliebrown2

I want to wish everyone who stops by this site a wonderful Christmas.    But what is Christmas?   The easy answer is that it is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.   That’s partially true.   Early Christians choose this as their holiday in order to co-opt the traditional Winter Solstice holidays everyone else was celebrating.   Even traditions ranging from Christmas trees to mistletoe pre-exist the holiday’s Christian identity.

So while Christians are on solid ground proclaiming Jesus is the “reason for the season” in their eyes, we non-Christians don’t have to wash our hands of the holiday, or even phrases like “Merry Christmas.”   This time of the year remains a universal holiday, celebrating as days start to grow longer and humans find joy in the depths of winter.

Values of love, peace, joy, and forgiveness are universal.   The magic of the season transcends theological dogma.   You can believe in Jesus, Muhammad, Hussein, Buddha, the Brahman of Hinduism, or the Hebrew God, I choose a personal sense of spirituality that defies organized belief.

I’ve long believed that human religions tell more about the cultural state of a society than about God and the meaning of life.   Individual beliefs about God usually reflect that person’s temperament    Humans create God in their own image, a strict stern man sees a judgmental, harsh God.   A loving caring man sees God as being primarily about forgiveness and inclusivity.    A woman focused on the material world sees God helping those who help themselves.   A woman immersed in charity work sees God as wanting us to care for the least in disregard of material success.

That doesn’t mean religion is meaningless.   There are reasons why books like the Koran, the Bible, the sayings of Buddha, and the Upanishads are compelling across time.   The same is true for philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, or great poets such as Petrarch and Dante.   In various ways ideas that cut to the core of who and what we are as humans have staying power.  They touch something inside our souls and remind us that we are part of a world far more mysterious and meaningful than our senses and minds can comprehend.

grinch

As we trudge through our daily routine who cannot help but be inspired by the parables of Jesus Christ, the wisdom of the Buddha, and the power of ideas of love, faith and joy?   Anyone who has chosen to forgive rather than hold a grudge, or show friendship rather than disdain to an adversary, cannot help but attest to the power of forgiveness.   One even pities a person locked in negative, mean spirited behavior.  The co-worker that stabbed you in the back becomes less someone whose actions arouse anger and drive you to revenge than a poor pathetic fool whose actions cannot bring satisfaction.

So Happy Christmas!  Feel the unity that connects us all, follow it and the world will become a better place, step by step.

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  1. #1 by lbwoodgate on December 24, 2012 - 13:22

    An a Happy Yule Tide to you too.

  2. #2 by GiRRL_Earth on December 24, 2012 - 14:38

    Scott,

    I love this post. This section in particular really resonated with me:

    “Anyone who has chosen to forgive rather than hold a grudge, or show friendship rather than disdain to an adversary, cannot help but attest to the power of forgiveness. One even pities a person locked in negative, mean spirited behavior. ”

    And the reason is, I recently found out an ex friend is talking negatively about me to all and sundry. What I couldn’t understand is why, after all this time, she is blathering on about something that happened so long ago? It was evident to me that she has not gotten over what happened and in turn refuses to let it go. My initial reaction was shock, especially when I heard the lies she has created to add weight to “her side” of the story. She is old enough to know better than to behave like a teenage high school girl! And then, the more I thought about it, the more I realized there is nothing I can do, except feel sorry for her and pity her. A friend of mine is a life coach and when I told her what I had found out she said, “Susan, what this person is saying reveals MORE about HER than you. She is clearly a very unstable and insecure woman.”

    Clearly she is locked in “negative, mean spirited behavior” — all the while thumping her Bible and reciting scriptures. Go figure. I hope one day she can find it within herself to accept what is hers and move on to a place of peace.

    In the meantime, Happy Holidays Scott! My holiday is over (Chanukah) but I do enjoy seeing all the houses in my neighborhood decorated for Christmas. :-)

    p.s. I may reblogg this.

    • #3 by Scott Erb on December 24, 2012 - 16:38

      Exactly – better to be you, despite the unfairness, than to be her. And given what that reveals, its also better for you not to have her in your life!

  3. #4 by GiRRL_Earth on December 24, 2012 - 15:23

    Reblogged this on GiRRL_Earth and commented:
    Christmas is tomorrow and the New Year is nearly upon us. Perhaps now would be a good time to reflect on the past year, take stock of what you have done, what you could have done better and what you didn’t do. Before the year is through, I plan to post my annual Gratitude Postj — highlighting all that I am grateful for. If you have never done something like this, well then why not start now. In the meantime, enjoy this post from one of my favorite bloggers. Take special note of the last paragraph: “”Anyone who has chosen to forgive rather than hold a grudge, or show friendship rather than disdain to an adversary, cannot help but attest to the power of forgiveness. One even pities a person locked in negative, mean spirited behavior.” Perhaps 2013 would be a good year for you to let go of grudges, hate, mean-spiritied behavior and FORGIVE!

    • #5 by Scott Erb on December 24, 2012 - 16:40

      The gratitude post idea is cool! I can’t wait to see it, and I’ll try to do one of my own! Thanks!

  4. #6 by jalal michael sabbagh.http://gravatar.com//jmsabbagh86@gmail.com on December 24, 2012 - 16:45

    GiRRl,sweet post .Christmas is in every beautiful word we say .In every good deed we make.Wishing you and yours joyous Christmas and a wonderful new year.jalal

    • #7 by Scott Erb on December 24, 2012 - 16:55

      GiRRl reblogged this on her site, your comment ended up on my website. Thanks!

  5. #8 by elizjamison on December 25, 2012 - 14:03

    Scott, Merry Christmas to you too! I hope you are having a wonderful day. Santa gave our son a flat screen and 3 new Xbox games, so we haven’t seen him since 10:00AM…

    This is one part from your post that made me think: “One even pities a person locked in negative, mean spirited behavior. The co-worker that stabbed you in the back becomes less someone whose actions arouse anger and drive you to revenge than a poor pathetic fool whose actions cannot bring satisfaction”. I have a situation like this at work and you are so right – – no sense in feeling anger. I almost have to pity her for being the way she is.

  6. #9 by Titfortat on December 25, 2012 - 18:30

    Merry Christmas and I do love the Grinch. :)

  7. #10 by SShiell on December 30, 2012 - 01:18

    Merry Christmas and only the best in the New Year to all.

  1. Finding Peace in The Holidays | Social Behavioral Patterns–How to Understand Culture and Behaviors

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