Reason for the Season

A lot has been said in the past couple of weeks about what I, and others, believe.  A lot has been said around the nation, even the world, about Christmas, its meaning, and how it came to be.  But I won’t be drawn into that right now.

This post is not about taking sides.

This post is about what I *do* believe.  Some of these beliefs are conclusions based on observable fact.  many of them are emotional ideals, unprovable, and based on nothing more than the way I might wish things were.

I believe we only go around once.

I believe it solely up to us to decide what sort of life we will lead.

I believe that every human being is absolutely equal.  None of us asked to be here.  All of us are going to leave here.

I believe that if anyone has value, then everyone has value.

I believe we are stronger working together than working against each other.

I believe things are slowly getting better, not worse.

I believe compassion is emotional glue that holds people together.

I believe selfishness is a fire that destroys.

I believe we make our own meaning, our own purpose, and fill our lives with it, whatever we choose.

I believe we have the power to change our minds.

I believe that if anyone is calling us to action, it is our own minds, our own hearts, willing us closer to our fellow man.

I believe we are capable of destroying ourselves.

I believe we are capable of ending war and destruction.

I believe every action is rooted in human choice.

I believe the decision to accept another person just as they are is the root of compassion.

I believe compassion for others is the one thing most religions get right.

I believe religions get a lot of other things very wrong.

I believe holidays like Christmas are beautiful, not for their history, but for the spirit of giving and loving kindness they inspire.

I believe the spirit of compassion must be cultivated.

I believe we are born with a deep desire to have compassion poured upon us.

I believe learning to give to others what we desire for ourselves is the key to a better world.

I believe humanity’s survival is our choice.

I believe nurturing compassion in our lives and our communities is critical to that survival in an ever more crowded world.

I believe becoming compassionate is only as far away as wanting it to be so.

I believe actions speak louder than words.

I believe consistent action over a long period of time speaks more than has ever been written or said.

I believe the “Christmas Spirit” is our emotional desire to be at peace with every other human in the world.

I believe the people that desire that will eventually outnumber those that don’t.

I believe there is no ideal time – we have to start right now.

I believe wanting something for nothing is wrong.

I believe wanting nothing for something is the epitome of compassion.

I believe our government should reflect our highest ideals.

I believe one of our highest ideals is to care for those in need.

I believe it is worth being taken advantage of on occasion in order to feed, clothe and house the poor.

I believe Christmas should be a reminder to care for the poorest among us all year, not just an occasion to do it once.

I believe love is action.

I believe Christ was right when he said to love our enemies.

I believe that if we can learn to love our enemies, our love for family and friends will deepen.

I believe every word said in anger hurts the whole world.

I believe I’ve caused a lot of hurt.

I believe I have the power to heal those hurts, one compassionate act at a time.

I believe in you.

I hope you believe in me.

I’m sure I’ll think of more, but I have to stop somewhere.  I hope during this holiday every person will shed the separation of dogma and particular religious belief for the togetherness of being human, together, on this small, beautiful world.

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7 thoughts on “Reason for the Season

  1. “I believe that every human being is absolutely equal. None of us asked to be here. All of us are going to leave here.”

    By “equal” you mean finite? Whose standard determines “equal”? (What about the man with a 55 IQ? What about me with CMT?)

    “I believe every action is rooted in human choice.”

    The “choice” to be born? My parents, maybe (and that’s open to debate), but certainly not mine. And the “choice” to die? Zip.

    You’re correct — it is wishful thinking.

    I wish I had a little more reason to hope.

    • “I believe that every human being is absolutely equal. None of us asked to be here. All of us are going to leave here.”

      By “equal” you mean finite? Whose standard determines “equal”? (What about the man with a 55 IQ? What about me with CMT?)

      It doesn’t matter whose standard. A person doesn’t have more *value* because of his IQ. He may be in a position to have a deeper impact on society, but a person is a person. If we value anyone, we must value everyone. Else we may as well go back to killing the lame, blind, and otherwise disabled like animals sometimes will.

      “I believe every action is rooted in human choice.”

      *The “choice” to be born? My parents, maybe (and that’s open to debate), but certainly not mine. And the “choice” to die? Zip.*

      I clearly said the opposite. You just quoted it for pete’s sake. “None of us asked to be here. All of us are going to leave here.” What do you suppose that meant? Being born is not an action you yourself take. It is thrust upon you.

      Beyond that, as thinking adults, we make choices, and choices determine our actions.

      You’re correct — it is wishful thinking.

      No, it’s not wishful thinking, and I didn’t claim it to be so. I said some of them are the way I wish things were. As in right now. As in they can be that way, but they are not. That is very different from “wishful thinking.” Some of these things sound like platitudes, but even many of those have empirical backing – such as “things are getting better.” Google Steven Pinker, TED, violence – that will open your eyes.

      Forgive me, Sam, but you seem to be very imprecise with language. You put things into your own words in a way that seriously alters the meaning of what was said. That’s not helping, really.

      I wish I had a little more reason to hope.

      You’ll have to find it within. It makes me sad to see someone be so pessimistic.

      Which of course is part of my point. Only we can fill our lives with meaning and purpose. If you look without to give your life form and definition, you’ll only find disappointment. Best to you.

  2. I wish you the best, too, Anthony, but clearly we cannot communicate. How was I suppose to know that by “completely equal”, you were referring to “worth”, and not my ability compete with those who are not handicapped in a foot race?

    For over thirty years I took medical and legal records and summarized them for a community of doctors. Never once during those years did anyone ever accuse me of being “imprecise” with language. In point of fact, all of my promotions were based on my supervisors’ assessments of both my analytical and verbal skills, and they stated such in my evaluation each year.

    As for human choice and free will, I will grant you that I have no idea what you mean (above). I see no way around that. I am mostly pessimistic, but it is because I think human beings have precious little of what you might term “choice”. I think if you could stand in my shoes for a day, you would better understand. You might even wonder how on earth I lasted this long.

    Please enjoy the Holidays!

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