a Hallmarkian message, by Michael Sherrillo
We leave this world as empty of possessions as when we arrived... maybe even more so, since even our bodies are left behind. This should teach us what is really important in this world. Right now we are entering upon the time of harvest, for this is the season in which the fruit of our souls ripens and is shared. I firmly believe in the importance in gifts, but not as objects, rather as expressions through which we show our love, appreciation, respect, compassion, and empathy for those around us. Gift giving is more than the money the new Gap jeans put a person back, it's a symbol for what you mean to them, a physical expression of the inexpressible intangible emotions which we have for each other. This sharing is what binds us together as people, for it is truly a custom that crosses all cultures and countries. The act of giving is a universal one, it is something that can be understood and recognized no matter what religion you believe in or culture you have. The one thing that grows and changes in our lives, the one thing that matters, is our relationships with other people. This connectedness of humanity, this love, is truly the only and most important gift that we can ever give and receive, and the only one we take with us from this world when we depart from it.
This time of years tends to make me wax religious, so bear with me if this isn't your denominational taste. I firmly believe that when god said he made man in his own image, he wasn't referring to our physical nature. We need only look around to see the inherent differences in each other's appearance. I believe that god was referring to what was most important, the soul. God made the soul of man in his own image, and as we strive for a relationship with our fellow man, and we desire and hunger for that connectedness we have with close friends and family, so does god share that hunger to be with us. The human condition can be said to be a constant state of reaching out, each in their own way, and so is god eternally reaching to us. To often we get caught up in the dogmatic practices of each particular faith. God becomes less of a real being with feelings, desires, and emotions, and more like a scale to which our actions shall be judged on. But god isn't really about religion... god is about relationships. It's about the relationship we have with our creator that matters most. And the relationships we have with each other that reflect this. Make sure that you plant through the year what it is you truly wish to harvest during this season, both in this world and the next. Invest in what really matters, and reach out to all those around you... you'll be suprised at who you find reaching back. =) ~Happy Holidays! (and Festivus for the rest-iv-us)