The year is drawing to a close, the nights growing ever longer as the days grow shorter. The winter solstice is almost upon us, just one of many holidays people celebrate this time of year. These celebrations, Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve are examples of diversity while sharing the goals of celebrating light, hope and kindness during a dark time of the year.
This last weekend I watched the movie about Mr. Rogers and his friendship with a reporter. I was caught up in the story of Fred Rogers kindness towards children and adults, no matter what the circumstances. The stories seem like something from old myths, yet he was a part of our world in our life time.
In the movie, someone asks his wife what it’s like to be married to a living saint. She responds that she dislikes that term because it makes her husband’s actions seem unobtainable by others. The reality is that he worked every day to be his best person, in spite of his anger, his fear and impatience. What could any one of us achieve if we also worked to see only the best in other people, even if they react in anger and fear towards us?
While the holiday season is occurring all around me, I think of his message of kindness and acceptance of others, even people that others look down on or dislike. And although he was an ordained minister, it seemed that he took the story of the Pharisee and sinner praying*, as guidance and did not praise himself but conducted himself with humility throughout his life. He made the choice to support others and living as an example of what we can achieve when we work for good, for the light against the darkness of evil.
Perhaps this year we can raise our voices together in good cheer and prepare together for a new year with new beginnings. Perhaps we can see the light and hope for everyone, no matter their beliefs or situation, who knows what good we might achieve?
Photos by J.T. and Tamara Harpster