13 December 2005

It isn't just Christmas!

Another year is coming to an end. Well, I must say it has been an interesting one. Full of all varieties of experiences and emotions as life tends to be.

At this time of year, we all tend to be a bit reflective. Not just about our own lives, but also of the greater community, of life on Earth.

In our home we celebrate Christmas with its joy and stressors and the opportunity it brings us to share with our family. However as my children grew and were taking more interest in the world, I felt it important for them to know and understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas.

It certainly is the holiday season with Hanukkah, Ramadan, Litha (Yule in the North Hemisphere) and various other events. My children took great interest in the ways other people worship and celebrate. My son, Rick, took so much interest that he has just completed his University studies majoring in Religion and Peace. What we have learnt as a family and also in the communities we are involved with, is that one of the greatest paths to Peace on this Earth is through understanding and tolerance of other people’s views and ideas. It is about accepting others cultures and religious experiences and validating that they are just as important to them, as ours are to us.

This Christmas, take some time out to talk to someone of a different faith or a different culture. Find out what they do this time of year and try to understand the importance of it in their lives. This is a great way to receive the full blessings of the seasons, for you, your family and the people who you learn a little bit more about.