Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. I hope you all have a restorative, and fulfilling break.
Even though Christmas is about giving and sharing time with friends and family, we can often be obsessed with our own happiness and the happiness of our immediate circle. We can end up being uncivil with those that come in to contact with us. The roads are busier than normal, the shops are busier, everyone is trying to make their version of Christmas perfect, leading to us not realising the impact our behaviour is having on others. We all could benefit from an occasional pause, just to check ourselves ans slow down the last packet of sprouts or that perfect gift, getting to your destination a few minutes faster, or being on time for an event are not more important than someones well-being (both physical and mental). Is Christmas and the pursuit of one day of happiness worth that much that we are willing to sacrifice, ours and others mental health, as well as potentially ours and their physical health.
Lets remember to put all the festivities into perspective, and think of others.
Over recent years it appears kindness and civility seem to have been sidelined and divisiveness, and incivility are more and more common. Generally being rude to people around us seems normal. Suspicion and hostility to difference appear to be back on the rise, and this hostility is on all sides at times.
This atmosphere seems to be fueled by populist governments all over the world, sadly including our own, with the reasonable politicians in all political parties being sidelined, creating more and more division. It feels that we are unable to hold opposing opinions with people and still like or love them. This is so sad.
So lets make a difference this Christmas and beyond. Lets start listening to other opinions expressed. Instead of listening to judge their opinion, why not listen to understand it? We don’t have to agree, but we should understand why people hold a view different to you. If we all had the same view, the world we would never progress, we learn through challenge. If our view of the world is never challenged we would never grow. All the technology we use the societies we live in all came about through discourse. People with opposing viewpoints argued and pushed boundaries and came up with amazing ideas that shaped our world. Please lets not stifle discourse by attacking those different to us, lets listen to what they can offer.
Lets all play our part in making the world the best place it can possibly be, by showing kindness to all around us, listen to their stories and increase our understanding. That will only benefit us, rather than being suspicious and unhelpful.
Whether you are celebrating Christmas or not I hope happiness fills your lives and you can share special times with those that are important to you.