I must confess. Each morning, I begin the day by reading the comics page, finding an escape from the real world even before I might need one. Recently, I read a strip that about said it all: The first character shared that he was trying to do a summary of the world’s religions, but that there were so many, he had already written 100 pages. “Be kind,” wrote his counterpart in response. “Now I feel wordy,” was the ah-ha retort.
Be kind. How simple is that? Share. Wait your turn. Say you’re sorry. Don’t take what’s not yours. Don’t hit people. Play fair. All those things we learned in kindergarten, according to Robert Fulghum.
Our sage, Rabbi Hillel, told us not to do to others what is hateful to us; “all the rest is commentary,” he said. The Golden rule teaches us to treat others as we want to be treated. Pig said, “Be kind.”
Very, very soon, much of the world will begin decorating, cooking, cleaning and shopping for what has become one of the year’s greatest times of celebration. Some of us celebrate the success of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greeks, others of us the birth of their savior and, still others, the experiences of enlightenment, heritage, culture, unity or, simply, light. We celebrate with sumptuous dinners, beautifully outfitted tables and yards, songs, gifts and stories. All joyous and, for the most part, all good.
Many of us place our dollars in kettles, toys in barrels and groceries onto the shelves of food pantries. Others of us join in serving community dinners, singing for those who otherwise have no music in their lives and still others of us go behind the scenes to ensure that our elders have heat and light during this dark and windy season.
There are so many ways to celebrate this season of light. Some of these demand hours of shopping, lots of wrapping, lots of eating, one too many dollars. Hundreds of pages of to-do lists. Other celebrations ask that we simply remember the wise words of people like Rabbi Hillel, Robert Fulghum and, most recently, Pig. “Be kind.”
Wishing you each real joy this holiday season,