By Jim Koury, Editor
Diversity Rules Magazine
© 2011 Diversity Rules Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
It’s Christmas time again! The hustle and bustle of the commercialism of the holiday is over. Christmas Day has come and will quickly be gone until next year. Compassion for others and the focus on human needs many times is held in one’s heart for the day or a couple days on either side of the holiday and then is quickly forgotten.
Each year we all lament how the spirit of the holiday gets lost in the focus on buying gifts, and going into debt to buy those gifts and how the true meaning of the day and its purpose is hidden because our politically correct society dictates we cannot say “Merry Christmas.” Mention of Jesus and the “Greatest Story Ever Told” is taboo and banned from public displays, and other areas that once were adorned with symbols of the true meaning of the holiday. We have been relegated to the politically correct drivel of “Happy Holidays” out of fear of offending others.
I do not really believe in the main premise of Christmas any longer, as I question and doubt the omnipotence of a man, who is alleged to be the Son of God personified. However, I do always (well most times) maintain in my heart compassion for others and try to live by the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you.” While I may not show it many times, Christmas does still tug at my heart. It brings back many wonderful memories of Christmas’ past, of family members and close friends of the family that are now gone, and just great recollections of gatherings with those who mean and meant so much to us.
As I look back and reflect on this Christmas night, as a child, there seemed to be a greater understanding of what truly was important. People seemed to treat people differently, with more respect, compassion and understanding. This compassion and understanding was grounded in the solidarity of the family and the willingness to help and assist family members in time of need. People talked to their neighbors, they looked out for each other and acted as extended eyes and ears for others.
Today one can walk down the street and people turn away and don’t even say hello. Neighbors are at each others’ throats and many just have a desire to make life miserable for others for no apparent reason, other than just that they are able to. Many people don’t even know the names of the people living next door to them. To me that is sad and makes me long for the days from my youth, when people understood what it meant to be together and how to interact more as a human family.
Peoples’ opinions are disregarded, and some are mocked and ridiculed and called all sorts of names, and accused of being “phobic this” and “phobic that.” Instead of simply listening and respectfully disagreeing, many people go right to the jugular, and will try to win and make sure their position prevails at all costs. As Aristotle said, “it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Greater understanding of people and what makes them tick is needed along with more patience and acceptance of the differences in people and their perceptions of how they fit in society.
We are all individuals with a unique internal map that drives us to do and say what we do. It many times conflicts with others’ internal maps and their missions. However, there is common ground that needs to be agreed upon such as being a human family, respecting and understanding others and letting people live their lives without fear of prejudice and injustice. While we may not agree with others all the time, what is needed is more tolerance, compassion and understanding of peoples’ differences and what they think about life and their interaction within it.
Of late, I have been the subject of some people’s rage, but being a queer activist, it sort of is a natural phenomenon, which I have embraced and am willing to accept if it means equality for all can be achieved. How I undertake my mission to achieve that end clearly is different from what some others perceive their and MY mission to be. I do understand that I am not going to make everyone happy, nor am I deluded into thinking that I can. But their disagreement and lack of understanding of my positions shall not sway me from fulfilling my destiny. I can only hope that all people can simply step back and look at others for what they are; unique individuals, with desires and hopes for themselves and for society.
We can achieve great things as individuals collectively, but there must be more understanding of people’s differences and what drives them forward. There will always be conflict and disagreement over how we perceive each other and our missions. However, decide to have a better understanding of others and how they think, and try to work within those parameters instead of resorting to mean, nasty personal attacks with name calling and all the rest of the ego based emotions that plague us. Decide to move forward but do so out of respect and understanding of others and what they are all about.