Its been that time of year again since August, but we are on the home straight. It will be all over and done with this time next week. Then we just have to put up with the question “Did you have a good xmas”.
Actually I am looking forward to saying “Yes the best ever, I didn’t hear Slade once”. I have been hibernating in my house since
1 December and living off food from the freezer.
Am I the only person that doesn’t partake inn this event? Any tips on how to get through the final week will be very welcome.
If you haven’t already noticed, Christmas is coming! We know this not just from the onslaught of commercial advertising but also from the volume of Christmas begging letters landing on our doormat.
One such letter dropped on my doormat this morning and set me thinking. It was asking for a donation to the Salvation Army. The letter came from a guy called John Watson who described himself as a writer but NOT a member of the Salvation Army and he was talking about the good social work done by the Army for homeless people, not just at Christmas but all through the year. He said they just got on with showing their love and care “quietly and without making a fuss. No judgements. No politics.” And he finished off by saying, “Whatever their [i.e. homeless people's] reasons for being homeless, these are fellow human beings.”
Ah I thought. But I bet they’re telling them that Jesus loves them and there will be a better life in heaven etc etc. Then I thought, what if they do? These folk are at rock bottom and if The Army can bring them some physical comfort and perhaps spiritual comfort as well, what can be wrong with that. As a Humanist, what am I doing? I’m all too ready to criticise their beliefs and their tendency to rattle the tamberine, but surely I should judge them by what they are doing. And maybe support them in the work they do for fellow humans. I’m not going to convert but I did to decide to pack up my prejudices up for Christmas and I’ve sent them a cheque.
I joined a Humanist group because I saw being ‘just an atheist’ as too negative. I didn’t want to just NOT believe in something. I wanted to have something more positive, and for me that was and is about making the best of the life we have now and showing some respect for other fellow human beings – especially those who are having a rough deal in one way or another.
So, over the Christmas period and in the New Year I am going to try to put my mind to ways in which perhaps Humanist groups could come together to make a practical difference in the lives of other more unfortunate humans.
Not quite December yet I know – but wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas!