This Holiday season I hope you can look around and can appreciate what is around you. Our family celebrates Christmas, and when we say “Merry Christmas” we are wishing you a great blessing for this time of year.
You see all the symbols of Christmas around during this time of year, both the religious and secular. The manger scenes of Jesus and the Holy Family as well as Santa Claus and Rudolph. No matter what religion you are, what you celebrate at this time of year, or what your feelings are about these things, when you see the lights, the mangers, and that jolly man in the red suit, you recognize the symbols of Christmas.
I am heavily involved in Boy Scouts for one major reason: Virtues. I was teaching a class once to a group of Jr High aged kids and we were talking about Virtues and Vices. When asked to name Vices, they did great, naming off all the usual ones. Then, when asked to name Virtues, they went silent. One boy finally said, “What about Trustworthy?” Another one spoke up, “Loyal?” The 3 boys in the class went on to recite the 12 “Virtues” and what each meant to them.
These 12 “Virtues” to a Boy Scout make up the “Scout Law”: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. Three 12 year-olds, because of their experience in Scouts, were able to articulate and give examples of each of these virtues. The virtues of the Scout Law are not exclusive to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or any other religion! They align with every religion and should be what you think of when you see the Boy Scout emblem.
In a similar way, when we see the American flag, we should not think of alienating designations, but rather, the virtues of our country which align with universal human virtues. While as humans we sometimes do not live up to the “Virtues” set before us, our American Flag stands for our continuous striving towards these ideals as a country.
The American Flag is not:
- Republican or Democrat
- Christian or Muslim
- Gay or Straight
- Black or White
Our American Flag represents our country, The United States of America. While may not always agree with the politics, the politicians, or even our fellow countrymen in our nation, I still believe that we are the greatest country in the world. We all walk under the Red, White, and Blue. Regardless of your background or beliefs, you are American, and We are America.
So, during this Holiday Season, remember what the American Flag stands for. It stands for all of us, no matter what you are celebrating during this season, if anything at all. It stands for our Freedom to practice our own religions, to live our own beliefs, and to respect one another. While you’re taking some time off work and thinking about the new year, take some time to consider what our country could be if we all lived up to what our flag represents.
What would our country be like if we all lived by the “Golden Rule?” If we treated each other like we wanted to be treated… (not a big fan of this. Above I put an alternative transition/conclusion)
Let's make 2018 a New Year!
A New Year of Love, Respect, and Compassion…
A New Year of Patriotism!
From our family to yours
Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!
God Bless America!