“Why Can’t People Be Like This All Year” by Suzie Townley

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It is that time of year again when everyone starts putting what they are grateful for on Facebook, and starts in with all that holiday spirit stuff.  I even start to tell people “Happy Holidays” because Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve and Day pretty much run into each other over the next eight weeks.

It is that time of year again when everyone starts putting what they are grateful for on Facebook, and starts in with all that holiday spirit stuff.  I even start to tell people “Happy Holidays” because Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve and Day pretty much run into each other over the next eight weeks.

Then we say, “Why can’t people be like this all year” – people being nice to each other in the lines (the oh so long lines) at the stores, and we of course do not include ourselves in “those people”!

But then again, would it be special if people were nice to each other all year?  What would make this holiday season seem special if everyone were nice to each other all year long?

Our country, our communities, and in some cases, our families seem so divided over so many issues.  We label each other and we label ourselves – liberal, conservative, feminist, pro-life, pro-choice, racist, etc.

When I first started teaching we were trying to remove labels, and all we did was change the way we labeled someone.  Descriptive words are good and often times they are necessary.  As a former English teacher, speech and forensics coach and theatre teacher, I LOVE ADVERBS AND ADJECTIVES!  Without them there would be absolutely no way to distinguish something new from something old, something we cherish from something for which we feel nothing, something sweet from something sour.  There would also be no way to belittle, insult, or verbally abuse.

What if this holiday season instead of just being nice to each other in the long shopping lines, we remove some labels and treat everyone as if they were a person with feelings who is entitled to their opinions even we have to agree to disagree or disengage from a conversation.  What if we find an old friend who has a different viewpoint on something from whom we have been estranged and give them a call?  What if we use those adjectives and adverbs to help heal instead of tear apart?  Find something bigger than being nice in traffic or at the store to make this holiday season special.

This is, as the song goes, the most wonderful time of the year.  Happy Holidays.

 

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