Stereotyping is one of my biggest pet peeves. I get so frustrated with people who look at a group of people and make automatic assumptions that there is something bad about the people because they fit in a certain stereotype.
This is not a new issue, as it has been around for centuries. All through history, there has been a tendency to find fault in others, simply due to their skin color, their religion, where they are from, or what their ancestors.
Prime example from the 1800’s is the way those of high society looked down their noses at those who had to work for a living. To associate with someone of trade was improper, and could even cause scandal, ruining the reputation of your family. But why? Why was it so forbidden to socialize with someone who worked for a living?
If you stopped and thought about the time, it was acceptable for the second son of wealthy families to go into battle during war, to become a solicitor, or clergymen, but they could not run a shop. It was even questionable at times for the second or younger sons to become physicians. A very unseemly profession.
But it was acceptable for these same sons to visit brothels, keep mistresses, gamble, and act in reprehensible manners. And it was acceptable for these sons to dine at the same table as peers, but heaven forbid a wealthy tradesman, who had a perfect reputation, attempt to dine at the same table.
And ladies, we have endure stereotyping throughout the ages. Ladies were too delicate, too weak, not intelligent. How many times have we proven ourselves? And continue to prove that we can be stronger, both mentally and physically, than some men, that we are intelligent and able to think beyond the clothes we wear or fixing meals for our families.
And it repeated this sort of prejudices throughout history. The worst came during World War II, when millions of people were murdered in the deadliest time in history, simply for being thought of as worthless. Not only Jews, but many other groups were put to death for no other reason than being gypsy, homosexual, did not agree with the Nazi party, or other reasons. Out and out murder, just because they were different, and someone decided to place all the woes in the world upon their groups.
The reason I bring this up is due to the fact that I am seeing history repeating itself, over and over, and I believe there are many people who forget the harsh lessons history has taught us.
I admit to having friends of most different religions, ethnic groups, homosexual, racial, and everything in between. I try not to judge people by skin color, whether they call their higher power by God or something else, where they are from, or their sexual preference. We are all unique and different. That is what makes the world so interesting. It would be dull and boring if we were all the same, thought the same, believed the same.
So, with Christmas close at hand (and just where did this year go, it was only February last week, was it not?), I would like to make a challenge. I love learning about the customs of others. It is fun to learn of the traditions and how it came about. So I would love to see each of you who read this write a tradition you do at this time of the year. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule, or something else, tell us a family tradition so that we might know you better.
To start, I am Celtic Pagan. To me, Yule is the shortest day and longest night. From Yule forward is the beginning of the new sun god, which will begin to grow longer days and shorter nights. So, on the eve of Yule, candles are lit and kept alive, to welcome the “birth” of the new sun god each year. (Yes, sort of like the Baby New Year taking over from the old year, but has been a belief for centuries longer than Baby New Year).
So, share something of your holiday traditions with us. Let us know more, so that we can learn, and hopefully, we can stomp a little bit of stereotyping down in the dirt.
And if I don’t get a chance to tell you, thank you to all for being a part of my life, and giving me many blessings to celebrate. Blessings and good tidings to you and your family through the end of 2015 and here’s to a wonderful 2016.