Holiday Greetings - Should we worry about offending others?
Before I begin, here is a brief update. I am just about settled into my new home, and setting up my new studio is almost complete. I expect to resume my once-monthly video blog posts starting the second Monday in January 2022. Wow, 2022. Where the heck did 2021 go? In a blink of an eye, it was gone. I will admit, with relocating, the second part of this year was hectic for me. However, it still seemed to fly by. In addition, I will be traveling during the Christmas and New Year holidays. My next blog post will be on January 3rd., 2022. There is again, 2022. We all should get used to it.
On another note, I received an email from one of my subscribers about a week ago asking me if I was a rebel and engaged in protests when I was younger. I got a kick out of that email, and we went on to have a delightful exchange of ideas and thoughts. As I have always said, I personally answer every email I receive. With that said, I could understand, based on a few of my recent blog posts, that some might see me as a rebel. I am sure after reading tonight's blog post, that might reinforce those thoughts.
However, I never carried a sign and protested with a crowd of people. I certainly am not against those that engage in those activities peacefully. A rebel is an individual that will have some bad to say about anything. Most times, they are informed of the facts. A rebel is rebellious by nature, not by belief in a particular "cause." I am not rebellious by nature. If I were between going to school and working two jobs my entire life, I would not have had the time. However, what I am is a person that openly speaks his mind. Regardless f the topic or forum. In addition, unless I specifically state that something is my opinion, it is always based on facts, truth, and data.
I believe the majority of today's society does not speak their mind because they are afraid of being ridiculed or coming under verbal scrutiny. Think about that for a moment. Have you ever wanted to speak your mind and didn't for those reasons? Thanks to politics over the last few years, friendships have been lost, family members no longer speak. I even know a couple that got divorced because of their different political views. How ludicrous and crazy is that? In my case, when I feel strongly about something, I will speak out about it. I don't l lose friends or family contacts because I have the unique ability to discuss anything with anyone without losing my temper and can respect their views. Regardless of whether they agree or disagree with my view, everyone has the right to have their own. Therefore, no, I am not a rebel, but I will INTELLIGENTLY speak my mind to anyone or any group of people when I believe common sense is not being applied as we know it to be. Such as the topic of tonight's blog post.
The topic of tonight's blog post is a result of a social media exchange/argument between many individuals regarding what greeting should be used during the upcoming holidays. I was amazed at how heated the discussion became. Such as what is right and what is wrong. What offends people, and what is more a generic greeting. It is OK to have your opinion, as I also have mine. However, the mature way to handle these debates is to respect the views of others. I must say this social media post was far from respectful. It got darn right mean.
We have all heard these two phrases, and I can inform you first hand they are both true;
"Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one."
"You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time."
Much has changed over the years. In today's world, most have a "CAUSE." By definition,
1 - a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition. 2 - a principle, aim, or movement that, because of a deep commitment, one is prepared to defend or advocate.
(courtesy of Google)
Many polls have shown that many people follow a cause versus how many agree with that cause. There are too post many to list here. However, a simple Google search will reveal them. On average, approximately 68% of people follow a cause, but less than 25% participate. These numbers are relative and not accurate. In my opinion, no poll is valid unless the entire population is polled. Therefore, they are only close numbers.
With that said, many people make their opinion a cause. Once that is done, it's like a train serving free food. Everyone jumps on board. Now we have a movement. Many reasons are good and should be treated as such. However, many are for political gain, publicity and do not serve any real purpose. It is said our society suffers from SYSTEMIC RACISM. I say HORSECRAP. When the term systemic is used, it infers to every person in our society. Therefore, since not every person in our society is a racist, we DO NOT have a systemic racist society. The same holds for discrimination.
I am NOT saying we do not have any racism or discrimination. We do. I am saying that it is not systemic, and often these words are misused to mislead people or further "A CAUSE," or try to use it as a get-out-of-jail-free card. The term racist is the number term used as an excuse when someone is caught doing something wrong.
If everyone is screaming for equality, take your punishment regardless of race, color, or creed. This fact is simple.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS THE DESTRUCTION OF PRIVATE OR PERSONAL PROPERTY OF ANY KIND LEGAL BASED ON A CAUSE. I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR RACE, COLOR, OR CREED IS. IF YOU BREAK THE LAW, PAY THE PRICE. PERIOD.
Believe it or not, this all ties into tonight's topic. Why? Because it's the new "CAUSE." Many now believe things should be generic. Such as selective holiday greetings. Many say they are offensive or feel offended by them. To them, I say HOGWASH. Maybe what they prefer me to say I find offensive to me? Many people do not think of it that way. They only think about what they believe is correct and does not offend them. They are not concerned if what they believe might offend others.
Oh yes. The solution is easy. Just say what the hell you want and leave everyone else alone. Respect their wishes. However, does society ever take the simple answer? The 1st. Amendment applies to all. Not only to those who use it to defend their opinion.
Some even have the nerve to say that Christ wasn't born on December 25th. Therefore, you are not celebrating the birth of Christ. Let me make this clear. EVERYONE who follows any religious faith has the right to observe that faith and believe in its teachings. Providing that faith does NOT promote harm to humanity. I think that is referred to as "Religious Freedom." However, this post is not about religion or religious beliefs. It is about what greetings are used during the Christmas season. Let me give you some history.
This is an excerpt from an article courtesy of countryliving.com.
"Merry Christmas" has been used since at least 1534. A dated letter from bishop John Fisher to Henry VIII's chief minister Thomas Cromwell reveals as much. The English carol, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," which was introduced in the 1500s, also uses the popular phrase.
Merry Christmas has been the holiday greeting of choice for decades. However, again, in our society, time-honored traditions have very little meaning any longer. We could also trace back the phrase Happy Holidays. This is courtesy of independent.co.uk.
"The phrase can be traced at least as far back as 1863, and by the 1930s and 1940s was commonly – and uncontroversially – being used in advertising campaigns. But in recent decades, what was intended as a neutral or inclusive choice of words has become increasingly political."
Notice the keyword. POLITICAL. Merry Christmas has been around for quite a bit longer. Isn't it a pity that many things in life have turned into what many consider as not "NEUTRAL?" WHO GIVES A DAMN. Our society has disgraced our heritage, history, and many of our traditions in so many ways. Why can people not refer to things the way they choose without being ridiculed by others?
An individual has the right to use Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas should they choose. I choose Merry Christmas. Therefore, I respect those that wish to use Happy Holidays. However, DO NOT TELL ME UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES that Merry Christmas is offensive, not accurate, not generic, or any other stupid reason someone can come up with and say it offends them. Maybe what you say offends me, but I respect it because it is your choice. CHOICE, now there is another freedom we have that many seem to manipulate for their purpose.
One last fact to remember because no country or society is perfect. No matter how much we may want to. No person, no country, nor any society can turn back time and change the past. The best we can hope for and strive for is to learn from our mistakes and not make the same ones over. Taking down statues, renaming anything does NOT dismiss history. Removing it from school books or the classroom does NOT ignore history. Not teaching our children about our history and the mistakes we have made is a shame. It is those mistakes that have helped us to become better. Or at least it should have.
You can say HAPPY HOLIDAYS or MERRY CHRISTMAS. I will always respect your choice. I only ask that people respect mine. Should they choose not to, I will not get angry. Instead, I will feel pity for them because those closed-minded individuals and probably have more profound issues. Or, they may just be getting on the bandwagon singing that same old song, day after day. I think the title is POOR ME.
Therefore, for me, it is, has been, and always will be, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Yes, our society still has faults. It probably always will. However, they are not faults that cannot be resolved the proper way. Violence has never been, nor will it ever be the appropriate way. To fix any problem takes time, work, and effort. It requires respect, an open mind, and the ability to see that there is always a better way too, obtain a positive outcome. Resolving problems requires people to listen, not just speak. It should never be my way or the highway. The best outcomes come from multiple inputs. When all ideas are combined, the best results are achieved. Each person in any society is an individual. An individual with a different perspective and perception, Two things that, when used properly, make us great. The sum of the whole is always greater than any individual part.
I wish everyone a safe and healthy Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a prosperous New Year.
Stay safe and be well,
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