My Christmas Wish

Amid the holidays, I would like to touch on the subject of acceptance. Now more than ever, our nation is divided due to different beliefs, and I’m not talking about religious beliefs; I’m talking about, I’m right you’re wrong beliefs such as Vaccinated VS Unvaccinated, Trump VS Non-Trumpers;  not only that but divorced families that can’t stand being in the same room together, controlling lovers that won’t allow their partner time with friends, or people trying to share their opinions on Facebook and being chewed out for it. I know this isn’t just my experience, but one many of us can relate to. 

People have opinions- I’m sorry they’re not always wrong or right. The Buddhists teach a way of acceptance. When a thought pops up, it must be recognized, and it will pass because that is all it is, a thought. When there was an essential disagreement in a native tribe, they sat in peace circles and allowed everyone a chance to speak without interruption when holding a totem. Today, an opinion can cause a riot because the discussion is not part of the plan.  Can we slow down a little and look at how we, as a community, are contributing to the problem? Did you judge and slander someone for being anti-vax or a trump supporter? Does your opinion matter more than anyone else? During the Nazi regime, the German forces thought they were serving their country by committing Genocide. Can we agree that listening to all opinions can help open our eyes to things we might have been blindsided to? 

I know it’s not the same, I know you are absolutely right. I find myself more submissive and agreeable to most, even my friends. Only my partner would know my voice on controversial matters. So here we are crumbling our thoughts into dust so they can float into the universe unseen, or we are pushing our beliefs so far down people’s throats that they can’t breathe, let alone mutter what they have to say. 

Where’s the safe path?

 Well, this ties around to a concept that I have been willing to preach for a long time now. How is acceptance going to happen on a mass level without it happening in our own homes? There’s a Christian saying I learned in my youth that I’m having a hard time rephrasing, so here it goes: “Honor thy brother and sister.” The hate you’re putting on your partner, your brothers, and sisters, family, and exes or partner’s exes- Guess what?- it bleeds into the bigger picture, directly. When there is so much negativity floating around in our everyday conversations, walls that are put up, families that are separated, and children that can’t spend the holidays with both their parents because they can’t get along, it’s hard to lead by example when you’re living in separation yourself. 

I would do anything to have my mom and dad at a holiday gathering together, with their partner’s acceptance and company. I would love to have my friend over for Thanksgiving without her husband blowing up my phone, worried that she won’t make it home safely. I would have loved to have both my husband’s parents at our wedding when they both contributed so much to our lives. I hate seeing on Facebook that someone can’t talk about children getting vaccinated in schools in a MOMs group, “The place to talk about this is with the school directly. This group will chew you up and spit you out.” I wish I would be more acceptable to concepts that I think are discriminatory or unjust because who am I to judge someone else’s opinion? For this holiday season, I test myself, and I dare you to take the challenge, to not judge people’s thoughts and ideas, to not close our doors to family and friends, and to remember throughout the stress of the holidays to breathe and practice acceptance.

From its origins in India, Buddhism has had an appreciation for reasoning and debate skills. The profound purpose of Buddhist debate and reasoning is to clear away a wrong conception of our own natures and thereby to become free of suffering and even death.

Perdue, Daniel. “Tibetan Buddhist Debate.” Asia Society.

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