• Discussion 09.12.2011 No Comments

    I came across a post by a friend of mine today, and thought I’d put my 2ยข into the mix.

    The Teen and I were discussing the “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” politically correct nonsense just yesterday. Depending on where we would go in our shopping travels, we’d hear both, and more often than not, the “Merry Christmas” would sound like a challenge, rather than the heartfelt sentiment it’s meant to be. The Hubby and I spent a few days away in Pennsylvania this week, and heard the same thing there. In one case I was purchasing a gift in a small store, and the owner handed me my change, looked me square in the eye, and ground out “MERRY. CHRISTMAS.” as though she were daring me to make something of it. Frightening.

    How far we have fallen that such simple words can bring us to hurl them as epithets.

    The Teen and I both have friends who are Muslim or other “non Christian” faiths (or no religious faith at all, like our family). We got to thinking about those friends, and came to the conclusion that not a single one of them would have a problem with someone saying “Merry Christmas” to them. It would not cause them to recoil from the wisher, make them angry, or cause them to feel insulted. In fact, one of the Teen’s friends is a lovely Muslim girl who makes it a point to wish people a Merry Christmas during this time of year, even if she herself doesn’t celebrate it. She gets it, and she’s still a kid. There is hope for us yet.

    Who thought this whole “politically correct” change to the holidays up, anyway? No doubt a group of small-minded, narrow-thinking “do-gooders” who couldn’t bear the thought of a single person being insulted for any reason, and figured it needed a rule. No matter that the kind of person who would be insulted by being wished “Merry Christmas” is likely the kind of person who would find fault or imagine ethnic segregation in just about anything anyway. Fortunately, that isn’t the vast majority of people. All people, and that means people of all race, creed, and colour, appreciate kindness and good will. We are not so different that it could possibly be any other way, except in the small, damaged groups of people who take it upon themselves to cause trouble for people who aren’t looking for it.

    Past the obvious Christian roots and meaning to the holiday, Christmas can mean many things, and will depend on those who celebrate it. I grew up and continue to this day to believe that Christmas is a time for family. It’s a time for extra love, extra joy, and perhaps also a time to get past the minor things that caused us angst or hurt throughout the year. It’s a time to celebrate being together, eat good food, and sing great songs. (Unfortunately it also means extra bills and calories, but we don’t need to go there just now!)

    I have been wished “Happy Hannukah”, “Happy Kwanzaa”, “Happy Diwali” and many other things throughout the year, and take it all with the spirit in which it’s intended; as a wish for my happiness during a special time.

    How can anyone have a problem with someone wishing them well? Let’s stop being ridiculous, people.

    Merry Christmas, my friends.

     

  • Times; they are a-changin’.

    In some ways it’s exciting. As a technogeek, I love all of the new technology being developed, even as we become slaves to them. I’m mostly ok with that, although I could certainly use more time away from it, as my carpal tunnel and tendonitis will attest to!

    In today’s hustle and bustle, always-connected/never-truly-alone-with-your-own-thoughts society, things, especially common courtesies, are waning. Falling by the way-side. In general, we’re spending less time with our families and friends, and more time glued to a screen of some sort. We’re becoming anti-social because it’s so much quicker and easier to send a text than pick up the phone or meet face to face. I’m personally bad for that; I loathe speaking on the phone, and a quick text or text chat suits me just fine. It bothers me on a deep, buried level that I have become this way, but more than that I fear for the generations to come. Not so much my oldest daughter (the Teen), since she has a very active and varied social life, filled with some great characters (and probably some unsavory ones too), but my little one, who is 10 years her junior. If things are this bad at the beginning of the “iAge”, how will they be 10 years from now? Brrrr.

    I digress. The question is; what have we lost?

    For the most part, I see us losing the easy-going nature that we as Canadians have enjoyed, and presented to the world. I see us withdrawing into a simmering, surly mass of people who ignore the niceties of personal interactions. People who don’t hold the door open for you as you come in behind them. People who edge up so close to the car in front of them that you can’t merge into their lane. People who grunt, or mutter “yep”, or “uh huh” instead of saying “You’re welcome!” when we thank them.

    I say “in general”, but of course I realize it’s not all of us who have regressed so badly. You are here because you’re as concerned about retaining and regaining this as we are, after all, and that means you probably are one of the few people out there who still observe the manners and courtesies we’re touting here. You’re probably the kind of person who will pass this website along to friends, family, and teachers that you know (hint, hint… yes, I’m that subtle).

    The whole point of the Polite Canada Project (and no, we’re not going to call it “PCP”!) is to spread manners, kindness, Canadian-ness to our fellow Canucks coast-to-coast, and try to bring back the pride we should all be feeling as we each say (and I shamelessly steal this phrase):

    I. AM. CANADIAN!

     

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