Extending the true gift-giving season . . .

The longest and most unilaterally celebrated gift-giving holiday of the year is finally upon us. In fact its general gift-giving emphasis (to children in particular) has spiked its popularity as the most commercial holiday of them all, transcending age, race, cultural, religious, political, socio-economic and all other man-made differences on which we base our multiple prejudices. Not only is every individual affected by this one holiday in particular, it sets the annual economic gauge for numerous businesses and industries while creating extra jobs throughout year’s end–and sometimes beyond.

Perhaps then, rather than decommercializing the No. 1 holiday, we might place greater energy and effort into analyzing and prioritizing our gift-giving.

Webster defines the word gift as: “the (legal) act, right or power of giving; anything given; a present; or a special talent.” But as many celebrate this season for different reasons, perhaps it may be well for us to analyze also the word “respect” in view of its vanishing appearance from our society as a whole, at home and abroad. The word, respect is defined as: “in reference to; to consider worthy of high regard; or to refrain from interfering with.” The latter of which is more synonymous with fear-–as frequently referred to in the Holy Books, as “fear God;” whether through terror or mere courtesy.

Humility, too often confused with humiliation, is instead, when laced with servitude, “the highest form of worship to God,” we find in the Baha’i Holy Writings. This was the primary statement that brought me home in this New Day of God, having been previously made to feel ashamed of it.

Through inconceivable advancement in modern science technology and communications the world can so easily be manipulated to hate, kill or take other negative action against any individuals or group of individuals. Even greater is the power of positive thinking- (and subsequent action)–if preferably applied.

Another thought-provocative quote from the Baha’i Holy Writings, I find is, “To be hurt and forgive is Divine!     But to understand and not be hurt is greater!”

”How many are the generations affected (and infected) by age-old individual, family/racial grudges. Remember the indelible lyrics of a song from South Pacific, “They have to be taught, before it’s too late, before they are 6, 7 or 8, to hate all the people their relatives hate. They have to be carefully taught…”

On this special holiday may we vow to strive harder to bestow gifts of love and respect indiscriminately on all with whom we come in contact. We may just find it to be like a mirror reflecting the same.