From the beginning, humans have gathered together to tell stories of triumph and loss, and share food and comfort. It seems we are programmed to have rituals and ceremonies that we repeat monthly or yearly to reassure us and keep us connected — the athletic potluck suppers, graduation ceremonies, visitations and greetings on the street. And what would we do if we didn’t have the commercialism to grumble about?
“Happy Holidays!” When we are greeted, some of us are not that thrilled by all the hilarity and activities planned around us. As we age, we have probably lost a dear friend or know someone who is struggling with finances, illness or other worries.
We can do something about easing the pain for ourselves and others by stepping out and gathering again to connect. We should get out a few precious items of Christmases and Hanukkahs past. Set these out and enjoy them, but be sure you add a little something from the present to help keep you anchored to the now.
Think of others who could use some help right now.
Lets get over the worry of a messy or not so fancy a house ... We have learned that people’s opinions don’t matter in important things. Invite someone over for soup and a simple sandwich and ask how they are doing ... Your concerns will vanish in a heartbeat.
The Christmas, Hanukkah and family gatherings and rituals tie us together when all the world is in an uproar. Let us not let the uproars stop us from doing what humans do best — connecting and comforting each other with some joy and love.
Let us not forget to always be kind.
Nedda Simon of rural Princeton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.