'Tis the Season
It doesn’t matter in which part of the world you find yourself, this time of year is ripe with gatherings and celebrations. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Pancha Ganapati, or Yule. This time of year is a magical time. A time of community, sharing, and love.
When we think of community a few things come to mind. Togetherness. Cohesion. Unity. However in the reality of our lives, things are never so clean. Things are never so easy. A community itself is made of people and people are very much unique. We all burn with our own light. We might have different shades or brightness of flame but with those differences comes strength.
Often times we get so tied up on the fact that we all have our differences that we forget to remember the importance of those differences. We forget that what those differences offer. When we come together and compare our differing views and outlooks we offer up a chance to see and show things that might have never been considered otherwise. We get the chance to see another life. To live another way.
Our differences allow us to come together and build off of each other’s strengths and experiences. To do this though we must look past ourselves. This is the truth of communities. They are only as effective as we are willing to let them be. We must love ourselves and also our brothers and sisters. We must love them like ourselves. If we can value each other as much as we value ourselves we can build something beautiful. We can create something lasting.
How do we do this? How can we bridge the gap? There was an old saying that I heard as a boy that has stuck with me. “Listen more than you speak, to learn more than you know and reap more than you sow.” We must quiet ourselves and observe. Learn how we communicate. Adapt so that others understand exactly what you want to say and you understand exactly what they are saying back. Most importantly we must listen. We must open ourselves up to the possibility that others are smarter or wiser in areas. We also must think logically and not be afraid to ask questions. People might speak the same language, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to translate.
So here we are and the closing of the year, and what a year it has been here at TOTJO. Can we put ourselves aside and become the community we have the potential to be? Can we love the light of another as we do our own light? Can we build something beautiful and lasting? I think we can. I think we will. I think we are. So I challenge ourselves to take the next step. To share. To love. To listen. To grow. We all have a hand in how we develop and there is no shortage of work to be done. So let us become one and rejoice in our strengths and lean on each other.
May the Force be with us all!