Respecting other cultures during this holiday season

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

I don’t think you can find a more festive and exciting season than that which encompasses many of the most celebrated events throughout the year. It is a time when a multitude of events are enjoyed and shared such as Hanukkah and for Christians throughout the world, Christmas. It is the time when Kwanzaa, a cultural African American celebration and observance takes place. It is a time of spiritual confirmation and acknowledging the importance of the human experience. It is no doubt that the month of December resonates with deference and gratitude for many different groups in respect to their individual personal relationships in reverence to their spirituality. It is a time of sharing and exposure to the different beliefs and practices of a diverse and dynamic population. Partying and social gatherings will be abundant, but some participants will practice some serious praying and fasting

Undoubtedly this holiday season brings out the best in what is so evident in the human heart. The art of giving, sharing, and loving appears to be universal. One cannot help but to pause and give praise and acknowledgement to a higher power that transcends mortal man. It is a time when we should realize our shortcomings as human beings and accept the fact that we do not run anything. How can we not perceive that there is a much higher power not of human flesh—a divine omnipotent deity that is orchestrating this show on earth? This divine benefactor is one of love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness and shows no partiality to any one group of people, regardless of man’s manipulation to prove otherwise.

I for one, identify this spiritual benefactor as God. Your religion many acknowledge him by other names. That is understandable considering what part of the world you call home. However, man’s attempt to use God as a divisive tool is anything short of divine and spiritually right. The God that dwells within, accentuates the good we have to give and promotes empathy. You have those who have a legitimate concern to help others with no selfish motive. It is spiritually right to help our downtrodden and suffering brothers and sisters. Make no mistake: the main spiritual message we should learn is one of loving and serving our fellowman, treating each other the way we want to be treated. Anything less is not spiritual and divine.

We must not fall to man’s ploy to have us disrespecting and finding fault with others who do not share our personal religious beliefs. One must understand that one’s personal relationship with God and growing spiritually as a person is private and should be respected, especially if it is not bringing harm to any one. Condemnation and judging others because they differ from you is not only wrong but also spiritually corrupt.

I remember once being told that religion causes contentions among people, while spirituality brings them together as a whole. Let’s respect each other’s spiritual choices and grow in love and respect for each other. This season only enhances what I already know. God is good and worthy to be honored and praised. We honor him in manifesting love for our brethren, through service. God loves us all.

This holiday season only proves his love for us—never faltering regardless of whom we are.