December 24, 2010

The real gift is the freedom to question. As a human being, we’re hard-wired to try to figure things out.
We can’t help it. It’s what we do. This season provides us with a pre-packaged, shiny, gift-wrapped opportunity to do just that.

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It’s that special time of year.  The season of Christmas Questions.  That’s the real gift.  The gift of wondering.  Pondering.  Arguing.  Listening. Caring.  Awareness.  Change.

The individual content of each person’s season doesn’t really matter.  Me – I get a tree and budget for presents.  I decorate the house and we throw a party.  I think about transmogrification and note the solstice.  I say Merry Christmas sometimes and Happy Holidays other times.  I read friends thoughts, questions and arguments in Facebook.  I read about friends preparations, disappointments, joys, celebrations and discoveries.

Every year, I question the status quo and every year I’m more comfortable with that process.  For example, a few years back, I tried refusing to acknowledge any sort of Christian expression of the season because my focus was on denial of repressive dogma.  Frankly, it was too much work.  It’s hard to exist actively refusing something.  I learned that I’d rather figure out how to be a good person and do it.  So, I tried that out and checked it off the list.

Over subsequent years, I’ve pondered the season and then tried different personal expressions.  In the process, I’ve settled on some things …

I believe in the human spirit and that there is divinity within each of us.

After not putting up a tree, I realized that I love the smell of pine and having a cut tree inside the house with lights and shiny decorations is joyful.

I enjoy the Burl Ives station on Pandora.  I’m special friends with Bing Crosby at this time of year.

I’ve given extravagant gifts and no gifts.  No matter what I choose to do from year to year, it’s always amazingly cool that our dog gets excited on Christmas morning and knows how to unwrap his own presents.

The real gift is the freedom to question.  As a human being, we’re hard-wired to try to figure things out.  We can’t help it.  It’s what we do.  This season provides us with a pre-packaged, shiny, gift-wrapped opportunity to do just that.  To revel and indulge in the humanity of wonder.  What’s it all about?  What do I believe?  Why do others believe like they do?  Is there more truth out there than I’m aware of?  What is truth?

Thanks.  It’s what I’ve always wanted.

Significantly,

Susan Scot Fry

Update… Apparently, I’m not alone.

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