I actually had been planning for a while to write an article on a different subject. I thought today was going to be the day to write it. It would have been about certain (in my mind anyway) injustices that had been bothering me. It would be snarky but hopefully a little bit funny too. But it would also been one of those things where half the people reading would have been ‘right on man!’ and the other half would have been ‘what an idiot!’. Maybe I’ll write that article down the road, but with Christmas being just a few days away, it just didn’t feel right.
Instead I’m going to take a different tack. A common phrase during this time of year is “peace on earth, goodwill toward men”. I think a good place to start living this phrase is through empathy. Too often when I hear some people characterize others viewpoints or actions, I have to think ‘surely they don’t really think that’s the other person’s viewpoint or rationale behind that viewpoint?’. Because if that really was the other viewpoint, that would make the other person really evil. And while a very few are evil, most people are simply not. Certainly not enough to make up whole political parties and their electorate, or whole organizations. So I think if we go back to empathy, understanding that the person with this different viewpoint probably isn’t evil, and thus trying to understand why they REALLY have that viewpoint, it would lead to a better understanding.
I also am going to harp on something I heard at a church service I attended today. The pastor mentioned the ol’ put the “Christ” back into “Christmas” thing, often used in response to threats, either real or perceived, seen by those in the church. But then she mentioned putting the “Christ” back into “Christian”. Then she went through the amazing list that I unfortunately can’t remember and can’t find (I think she was quoting someone, but I’m not 100% sure), but it represented the things that Jesus stood for. It was things like standing up and helping the poor, against income disparity, against being judgmental, against abuses of authority, etc.. Anyway, it certainly would seem that it would be more productive to make it a point to do good (and do good all year around) yourself than to worry about how others may be missing the point of a holiday (a holiday which isn’t in the Bible in the first place by the way).
So I guess my point is to do good and think well of others. Anyway, I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!