There are certainly many indicators throughout the year that we live in a diverse community as different peoples from different cultural or religious backgrounds observe or celebrate a variety of events, principles, beliefs or practices. But no other time accentuates our diversity as much as the end of a year and the beginning of the next.
Over the past many years there have been waves of dissent and debate with respect to the celebrations that take precedence at the end of the year. Should we celebrate Christmas to the exclusion of those for whom this observance is irrelevant. Or should we celebrate the “holidays” as something that appears to be more inclusive and respectful of all people, regardless of their faith or religious beliefs. But then what is the celebration for those who see themselves as Atheistic, Agnostic or Deistic. Or does it even matter?
This conflict has been around for a very, very long time. Even the establishment of the Gregorian Calendar centuries ago was accompanied by suspicion and controversy.
Perhaps these are all questions of such significance and with such an enormous divergence of views that they can never be answered to the ultimate and absolute satisfaction for all of us. For some this discussion engenders a visceral and bone deep response so extreme that discussion is pointless.
But here we are…
So how about the simple principle of good will to others? Or if good will is deemed too much, then what if we unassumingly cared enough for this ever-shrinking village and for all those who inhabit it so as to just not wish ill to anyone. Or if holding back ill will seems like a chore, how about just accepting for a moment that we are all different and vociferously and selfishly asserting, each of us, that we wish to express our difference without interference or judgement.
Methinks that in there somewhere are the roots of acceptance.
Whatever the reason for celebration at this time of the year, religious or secular – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Omisoka, Rohatsu, Shabe-Yalda, Soyal, Winter Solstice, Yule, Zartusht-no-diso – or even the modern, neo-cultural originations of Fesivus, Human Rights Day and Krismas…
And however you spend the time – with family or friends or on your own, over a meal or travelling, in revelry or quiet, volunteering your time or reading a book, catching up on work past due or doing absolutely nothing, we wish you to be well, and to prosper.
Here at ASSOCIUM we have a tradition of shutting down between December 25th and January 1st and we all take advantage of the time away from the office in our different ways. And while we are away, we commit to our clients and friends that we will keep one eye on our emails and one ear on our voicemails. If anyone needs something from us or provides a call to action, we make sure to be there to take care of things as we do every other time of the year.