Thursday, December 17, 2009

December Thoughts

Living in Paradise, thoughts of December do not involve snowy evenings by the fireplace, and walks through the snow covered forests as we bundle up in all of our winter wear, looking forward to a hot chocolate when we return home.

No, it is of lights in the palm trees, and Christmas carols in the malls. It is clerks telling us “Merry Christmas when we are purchasing our Hanukkah cards and gelt.”

But I thought about our Hanukkah celebration in the Park at the Gazebo, and Christmas celebrations at various locations and the thought that came to my (old 60’s hippie) mind were the lyrics to a Bob Marley song:

One love, one heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
I am pleading to mankind (one love)
One God, One heart
Give thanks and praise the Lord and I will feel all right
Let’s get together and feel all right

I know “they” say that the devil is in the details, but the thought I want to share is that, if we can get past the detail and paint with broad brush strokes, December holidays can truly be a time when we can “Give thanks and praise God and feel all right – get together and feel all right.”

When a clerk tells me “Merry Christmas,” I know she is just trying to wish me a wonderful holiday. Even as I stand there with a Star of David and a kippah, buying candy for our Hanukkah in the Park, she may not know that I am a Jew; she might never have met a real live Jewish person before, and she may not understand Hanukkah. But she does know that I am a fellow human being, and she wants me to have a good holiday.

So if I remove religious detail and with a broad brush stroke, I know that we are each created in the image of God. How would I treat God if I met him in CVS? That is how I should treat this salesclerk.

Forget the Hallmark Holiday and commercialism, if you can. People who truly celebrate Christmas are seeking Peace on Earth/Good Will to Humans. I vote for that. Don’t you?

I know Hanukkah celebrations are great fun. And I love the latkes and of course my annual rendition of The Latka Song is not to be missed. And I know that folks love their Christmas celebrations. But maybe sometime this holiday season, we can think broader and think about the “peace on earth” concept, and the oneness of all humankind.

How can we unite and celebrate what we have in common? How can we respect our differences? How can we value and work for peace and not draw lines of exclusion and discrimination in the tropical sand?

There is a song that is sung in interfaith circles: Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. This December, I suggest we each pause during all of the holiday hoohah and ask ourselves: what can we do to help the coming of peace on earth? And if we don’t do it, who will?

Enjoy your celebrations – eat lots of latkes and jelly donuts, spin that dreidel until you are dizzy……but let us consider how we can bring peace to our homes, our community, our country and our world. One world, one love, one God, and let peace begin with us.

1 comment:

Jan said...

Thank you for this beautiful post, Ann. Peace, love, health, and happiness to you now, in the new year year...and always.