Attitude Says It All

It’s all in the attitude.

How do you say, “Merry Christmas”?

Americans, especially us rural ones, are struggling to understand how to live in a diverse community. As recently as 20 years ago, most communities outside the cities would count greater than 90% of their populations as Christian. As recently as 10 years ago a local small city not only had no residents of color (either African or Asian Americans). Not only that, black people routinely warned their out of state relatives to pray their cars didn’t break down in that area at night.

In my area, there are still a few villages that are white, German people only. Outsiders not welcome. But most of us live in areas with white people, black people, east Asians, south Asians, Africans, people from the Middle East. There are now a variety of religions.

Add to this retail businesses that wish to be inclusive.

So, the greeting “Happy Holidays” prevails in many venues.

One of our pastors got up Sunday and had people practice saying “Merry Christmas.” Now, she said, you can go out and say that and not happy holidays.

Back to attitude. How do you say that?

Is it joyous greeting among those in the community? Or, is it an “in-your-face” command? Kind of like a challenge. Sort of, “I dare you to disagree.”

Then I thought why make such a big deal?

I’m secure in my faith. I don’t need the validation of someone else. You can say whatever, if said with a smile and a sense of generosity, it conveys a proper meaning.

Or, you can get the words right, but miss the feeling. Sort of like the Pharisees who got the religion part (sort of) right, but missed that heart thing.

It’s all in the attitude.

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