Do you get those fun holiday alerts on your phone? I do. It seems there is a holiday and special event to celebrate nearly everything. In a lot of ways it is silly and downright ridiculous. January 16th boasts Psychiatric Tech Day, I don’t even know what this is, let alone how I would celebrate it or who I would “congratulate.”
Like anything in life, there is another side of this coin. In the shadow of these sometimes perceived as forced holidays, there is a lot of negative noise. There is a saying, Time heals all wounds, yet the negativity, the shouting, the anger and the violence seem to be getting worse, not better.
I live in a lovely little town. When visitors come, they sometimes think they have been swept into the past. We have a courthouse square surrounded by local businesses. Many people come to “hang out” at the square with their families, friends and pets. There is something happening at the square almost every weekend from Spring to early Fall. We still have children singing Christmas carols on the steps during the holiday season. Our high schools seniors get their final picture on those steps as they say “good-bye” to their youth education and look forward to the future that awaits them. In essence, this courthouse square is our culture and it is idyllic. Unless you visit on Tuesdays. Then you will see each political party representing on opposing corners with angry signs yelling at each other, passersby and cars. There is not anyone holding a peaceful protest about a condition or state of affairs that they wish to educate others upon; these are people who are vociferously spouting hate. The locals who remember avoid the downtown area and these corners on Tuesdays. It is really a dirty feeling of being accosted, regardless of which corner you walk to. One day I saw a man walking very peaceably, holding a sign that read: “I see purple” and a woman got in his face, was yelling at him and started hitting his sign with hers. I was just left with a feeling of purpose. What is the purpose of these people? It can not possibly be to sway someone to their way of thinking? They are truly scary.
Fast forward to a safe and secure living room. No longer do you feel that horrible feeling of negativity and overwhelming doom. You decide to look on your Facebook account to see what your friends and family are up to today. Low and behold, the negativity and noise permeate the posts. There are so few happy posts, so few “this is what the children have recently accomplished” posts and so many awful posts that you become depressed.
Fortunately, you are saved by the bell. The ringing of your phone tells you that you just received an alert. Today is (for example) March 21, Incredible Kid Day. What seemed so ridiculous and silly before now uplifts the heart and puts a spring back in your step. You know several incredible kids, maybe you will send them a fun message or an emoji, since that seems to be the language they respond to these days. It may be fun to look through and find a unique one for each child.
March 23 is Make Your Own Holiday. In my mind this is a recent creation. We all need a reason to celebrate. Create a tradition. Gather those you enjoy close. Celebrate joy.
Authors note: At Kind Defined we celebrate the individuality that makes us unique and the commonalities that create community. If you would like to know more about our non profit and ways to become involved we are holding a “Getting to Know Kind Defined” breakfast April 21st at 8:00 AM at the Garden Event Center at the Gateway Mall. Please see our website for more information.