Black Friday, Cyber Monday, sale pitches on the street corners as well as the internet blast us now at every turn. The lights are twinkling on homes, Santa has arrived for photo shoots, and tunes are replaying about melting snowmen, flying reindeer, and a jolly old elf (not to mention mom making out with a guy in a red suit and Grandma being stampeded by a herd of antlered creatures).
So now how do we celebrate the true meaning of connection? Perhaps we should ask ourselves why do we wait until December to teach our children about the many different celebrations that occur throughout the year?
Is it because we feel our “religion” is more important than others?
Perhaps it is our ignorance about the other religious celebrations such as Muharram, Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, Yule, Aboakyere, Kwanzaa, Arapaho Sun Dance, Diwali, Obon, Ramadan, etc.
Perhaps that could be a New Year’s resolution!
Learning about each other is the gateway to understanding, to tolerance and to peace. Learning about our history and the similarities of different cultures and traditions can thought provoking and encourage questioning and reasoning.
According to the article, Closer Than You Think Sly Navreet, Yahoo! Contributor Network Aug 31, 2006. In most religions, even ones considered to be "bad", there are universal rules or guidelines to follow :
- Tell the truth.
- Don't steal.
- Help people.
- Take care of yourself.
- Don't hurt people.
- Attend a place of worship regularly, or worship regularly.
All religions encourage good behavior or moral behavior. If you're good in life, you'll be rewarded in death. If you're bad in life, you're punished in death.
In Eastern religions, it's usually reincarnation, or a form of reincarnation. With that stated, aren’t these really our house rules? Of course we have added to "Pick up your socks and rinse your dirty glass".
It is difficult in this stressful time to become focused on our similarities rather than our differences, our values rather than our faults.
Take a moment during this winter break and discover a different culture with your children. We owe this to our children and to our world.
How do you educate your family about different religions? Share your thoughts in our comments section below.