Occupy Conundrum: Tales of holiday angst and morals, part 1

I’ve been trying to write for over a week and a half, to no avail. Since writing about the Occupy Movement seems to be stuck inside the writer’s block, I’ll say what’s really on my mind. The holidays—or helladays as I like to call them—suck! Now, before you tell me that it’s all in the attitude (I know), that the world is full of love and joy (I know, but at times I wonder), and that happiness and peace are found within (yes, unless it’s December), let me share what I’ve witnessed.

Last week I read the following article, posted by Occupy Denver on Facebook: http://thicksocksandpicketsigns.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/occupy-denver-camp-grieves/

Rather than give away the ending, I’ll just say that the occupiers did right by offering this woman kindness and support—a community. The government and corporations, not so much. In a country as affluent as the U.S.A., this story shouldn’t exist.

The moral: If you are out holiday shopping (i.e. buying mass produced goods that support corporations, who probably don’t support you), pick up a blanket or sleeping bag and drop it off at your local homeless shelter, occupy encampment, or better yet, give it directly where it is needed—to a homeless person. And remember that while you are hanging your stocking and are snug in your bed to be grateful that you have warmth, a place to live, and money to buy gifts.

This week, I saw the following: http://mypaganworld.blogspot.com/2011/12/rant-alert-merry-christmas-eviction.html

Read the blog post, if you feel so inclined (I highly recommend it), but my comment here is mostly about the picture. We live in a country that prides itself on its religious freedom and tolerance of others. We even go so far as to invade other countries, all in the name of freeing the disenfranchised from the their fascist, corrupt, greedy oppressors. But how, then, do we account for this sign? I’ve come to the conclusion that most Christians are rarely Christ-like.

The moral: Take a lesson from Jesus, the holy man whose birthday is celebrated on December 25. Would he approve of this sign? Probably not. He might even tear it down. He probably wouldn’t appreciate the sentiment, either. So, if you are devoutly Christian, try to be a little Christ-like this month. Be kind and compassionate to others, and tolerant of their beliefs. There are many holidays to be celebrated this month (Hanukkah, Winter/Summer Solstice, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, Ashura), and regardless of your spirituality, we all share one planet.

Still confused? Then ponder this: during the holiday season, try honoring the Christ by asking yourself: “what would Jesus do in the above scenarios?” If gifts of love and compassion come to mind, you’re on the right track. Actually, I’d say that’s the best way to go any time of year.

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