Sunday, December 13, 2009

Let's have us some peace

As we proceed through the holiday season, a common prayer heard is for the world to become more peaceful and that people would show more goodwill toward each other.

Of course, there are many places where it is not peaceful. Our soldiers continue to bravely serve our country in hot spots around the world. Though our effort in Iraq may be winding down, it appears our activity in Afghanistan is ramping up.

Additionally, there are other countries that are not technically at war, but the people there suffer with a way of life that is very different from what we enjoy.

For example, Cuba is not that far away from the United States, but it might as well be a million miles away when comparing it to the freedom we enjoy. Don't buy the propaganda; the country is an oppressive place and anybody who would sugar coat what has gone on there in the last 50 years learns its history from Hollywood.

However, when considering peace and goodwill, it is vital to focus on a person-to-person level. Don't get me wrong. The strife going on in the previous examples is very important, but how we handle the pressure of the holidays when we deal with each other is also critical.

Let's face it. During the holidays, we often find ourselves surrounded by people we do not see that much during the rest of the year. While that can be fabulous in some ways, it can be challenging in others.

For example, I was recently talking with an acquaintance, and she spoke about how she just learned that her sister and her four children were coming to stay with her for two weeks over the holidays.

Though it was obvious that she loves her sister a lot, she was also clearly stressed about having so many new people in her house. Considering that she also has several children, I think we can all get a feel for the challenges she is going to face.

With that many people under one roof for such a long time, peace and goodwill may not be so easy to maintain. Still, when we find ourselves in similar situations, it is critical that we go the extra yard when accommodating those around us.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing a family at each others throats during the Christmas season. If there were ever a time when people should call a truce with each other, it is during this time.

When people cannot do this, it causes activities that should be joyous to be a lot more somber. Christmas is set aside to recognize the birth of Jesus who is the Prince of Peace, but if we cannot put our own disagreements to the side, it makes a mockery of Him.

This does not mean that the disagreements we have with others are not legitimate. Sometimes we are wronged in meaningful ways, and it is tough to work with the other party to resolve the situation.

However, when these unresolved conflicts spill over and taint everything that goes along with the holiday, then the problems become even larger. This is because not only are the two parties who have the problem still in conflict, but it often causes others in the family to be impacted.

Sometimes, people feel like they have to choose sides, and that makes it all worse.

The bottom line is that we should all ease up and keep in mind why we celebrate Christmas. This should bring more perspective to our lives and maybe our conflicts won’t seem that bad after all.


Joltin' Django said...

I'll bet your "acquaintance" never had to deal with nothing like this ...

East Tennessee police said a mom punched a police officer and now shares assault charges with her adult son. The Knoxville News Sentinel quoted Anderson County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Hobbs who said he arrested a 39-year-old man accused of shooting at another man Thanksgiving afternoon. Hobbs said the suspect's mother followed the police car from her home in Andersonville to the jail in Clinton and demanded he release her son.

Chris said...

Are you kidding? That was my Aunt Karen....well, maybe not.