As we enjoy the holiday season, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the season when family and friends gather, and the big picture in terms of how we’re all expected to get along on this increasingly crowded planet of ours.
The holidays often put people around the table who may not normally see one another throughout the year. Far flung relatives, cousins, in-laws, and other guests-of-guests may come from all walks of life. Their political, religious, and social viewpoints may differ widely from our own. Yet when we see them during the holidays, we do our best to tolerate differences. Ideally, we look for ways to connect rather than provoke arguments.
Tolerance is not always the easiest value to embrace. Now, especially, we can find ourselves thrust into polemic arguments driven by political and media forces which command enormous attention and influence. Social media and a profound lack of face-to-face interaction makes it easier to distance ourselves from our mutual, essential humanity if we let it. It is easy to be intolerant. Easy to erect high walls. Easier than ever to segment and align ourselves with only those who agree with our values and sense of our role the world.
I would gently urge everyone to see the holidays as more than a time to buy gifts, give thanks for our blessings, and eat sweet treats. Let us remember to practice tolerance, acceptance, and recognize the importance of diversity in this world.
With hope and gratitude,
Sam Jia, M.Sc.
Helping People On The Move