Maybe more this year than years past, it is important to be surrounded by love and peace over the holidays. This year, the seemingly never-ending presidential election gave us a divisive environment in which to exist and go about our daily lives. Frankly, it became the new normal. Whatever side of the aisle you were standing on waving your American flag, it was apparent that respecting and encouraging independent thought and opinion is going the way of woolly mammoth.
I’m an optimist, so I propose this holiday season we figure out what is truly important and why. I believe in people. I need to see the good intentions and redeeming qualities — even if I have to dig deep sometimes. As witnessed on Facebook, friends and family rarely present information that will change someone’s viewpoint. In fact, it just develops frustration and ratchets up discontent and anger. I’ve always found it important to agree to disagree (politely) in difficult conversations like religion, business and ummm, politics.
Unless asked, volunteering your opinion for the sake of changing minds is rather pointless. This doesn’t mean that you need to tolerate hate and bullying — that’s never OK. It isn’t easy to watch this ignorance in our neighborhoods, schools and communities and we all have a responsibility to speak up against people trying to harm others. But, combating ignorance or hate with violence isn’t the answer. After all, showing the value of peace and love is accomplished most effectively through actions, not words.
How does this dynamic play out over the holidays as we try to focus on family? It may not be easy, right? Matters of family are difficult — maybe even more so as we gather around in small houses singing off-key Christmas carols. There are many expectations, highs and lows, disappointments, pressure to get along, weird family history and the list goes on. Take the time to appreciate each family member for his or her uniqueness. You may not always understand Aunt Betty or Uncle Jim’s perspective, but show them your love anyway.
This year, take a note from the Eyde family, who I am sure have seen up’s and down’s , but no matter what, always loves and respects one another. This month, new mom Evemarie Eyde tells her special family story. Originally from Lansing, she traveled the world for work and finally made her way back home to support her family and its business.
Reflect your love out to the world this holiday season. We could all use an extra helping, right?
Share love this holiday season,