Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Holidays - what a load of crap!

If ever society tried to change the mindset of regular, normal people, this has to be it. 'Happy Holidays'? What's that supposed to mean anyway? If you work where I do, holidays are always happy! Including weekends! So, what's the big deal?

In trying to be politically correct, are we losing are awareness of the world around us? Can't we wish Christmas and Id and Diwali and every other festival that we've seen and participated in all our lives, however vicariously? Do we have to always think we end up offending people by wishing them well? Is that ever possible? In our effort to identify ourselves as part of some group, clan or religeon, are we forgetting we're humans?

A couple of days ago a friend of mine wished me for Christmas. I wished him back too. And the amazing thing is that neither of us are Christians! We did the same for Diwali as well. It's part of our lives, it's part of our culture and upbringing and it is indelibly, a part of us.

Yesterday, I was waiting for my bag to be scanned before I entered the office (yes, we're all terrorists here!). There's this huge, hulking guy with a uniform who does this every day. And as guards are supposed to be, he's always been gruff with a dour face. No smiles, nothing. If I'm in a cheerful mood, I try not to think of his response when I wish him Good Morning! Today, out of the blue, he breaks out into this huge smile and puts out his hand for a shake. As I watch my hand disappear and wonder if it'll ever be the same, he pats me on the back and says "Buddy, you have a Happy Christmas, okay?" I wish him too, but I wonder - Wow! Where did that come from? I mean, what's making him so happy and friendly all of a sudden? And then I see his eyes crinkling in that smile of his and I feel happy with him too! "Merry Christmas to you too" I say. And then I realise, it's the season, he's sharing his happiness which he's experienced every year since he's born and he's wishing me well! That's all that matters really. A thought, a wish, a greeting. For another.

So, eschewing the pathetic, unemotional 'Happy Holidays', let me wish everyone a merry Christmas.


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