Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gratitude or Outrage, Your Choice

Holidays, love them or hate them are around again. They spring up with merchandizing and traditions that bring up a variety of issues. Family issues, finances, weather, politics, history, and expectations all come together to make poignant psychological potlucks. Wonderful memories and experiences right next to awkward, terrible, and isolating ones.

Outrage or gratitude?
History was written by the winners, edited for sound bites and advertising then packaged for the multitudes. Valentine's day didn't come from histories greatest lovers, the word massacre figures prominently in Valentine history, one could say at least they picked an apropos color to mark the day. You can't discover a country people already live in and honoring a man who's actions and words can be categorized as genocidal makes Columbus day an American embarrassment. Christmas started out as a pagan holiday as did Easter. Blood sacrifice was involved in the earliest celebrations of both. Thanksgiving, a bitter reminder to indigenous people that their past is not important as festivities.

What are the holidays to us? Are they the past, present, or do the build the future?

We choose what they are. We choose how we acknowledge them. We can make our own traditions and go forward ackwledging the past honestly. Nothing says you have to anything. You do not have to choose stress. Choose enjoyment, take time to do activities you find delightful.

Why not? Why not gather with friends? Why not give memories instead of unwanted purchased guesses from random shopping excursions? Why not skip the hassles and just live?

I would rather skip holidays and see every day as worth celebrating and honoring. I use holidays as a day to reflect, to share and to live like any other day. Why not?

Want to improve the world? Volunteer, share, let go of judgement, be assertive, and have gratitude.

The holidays are a great time to volunteer. We can't change the past but we can acknowledge it. In the present we can choose how we live today, how we shape tomorrow.

We can step away from intolerance. We can step away from outrage. We can step toward acknowledgement. We can step toward communication and respect.

The year is winding down. What have you done this year to shape next year? What traditions have you honored or changed? Focus on what you are grateful for. Focus on turning outrage into constructive change.

Choose to have a great day every day.