Coal in our stockings and hate in our hearts, is no way to go through the Holidays.

‘Tis the season to find reasons to look for differences between people. We are clearly and significantly divided as a nation. This is evidenced by the racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri and in New York. We are not just divided by race but by sex, religion and class. We look for reasons and excuses to hate one another.

One reason maybe to protect our psyche. If people were of equal value how could we justify allowing so many people to be poor. How could we justify spending ten bucks for a movie when a child doesn’t have enough to eat.

The Fraternity of the Soul Eater talks about DNA and genetics. There are few differences between us. We share 50% of our genetic make-up with a banana. We share well in excess of 90% of our genes with a chimpanzee and well over 99% with each other. At a cellular level we are not that different.

We look for differences between us. We intentionally seek evidence to support the position that we are special. Is the color of our skin significant? What about religion? Christianity incorporates Judaism.  Islam incorporates Jesus and Moses within the construct of their religion. Is it all that different? Are we special because of who our parents are or what country we live in.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be special. In fact we are all individuals and we are all special. It is alright  to celebrate individuality and acknowledge differences between us. Yet, not at the expense of others. Being special does not make someone else less special.

It is alright to hate an individual. If a person is awful no matter the season feel free to hate them. It is not alright to extrapolate based on an individual’s behavior hatred of a group. Perhaps the need to judge a person quickly is instinctual. Our ancestors would need to determine if a person or animal was dangerous in a split second. When safety and life and death are on the line you didn’t have the luxury of giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Yet, the times have changed. We are no longer cavemen living in groups and tribes.Today we can take the time to get to know one another.

So this holiday season why not aim for peace on earth and goodwill to everyone. Let’s put our differences aside. After all we are a lot more alike than different. Also, a book by Scott A. Lerner makes a great holiday gift.

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