This I Believe

Barbara - Ballston Spa, New York
Entered on December 6, 2007

This I Believe

I believe in the Christmas Spirit. I, for one, feel a very tangible sense of peace and love and awe at the Christmas time, especially on Christmas Eve. I first experienced this as a young adult, or rather, could identify and separate the feeling from the joy and wonder of my childhood Christmas’s. Then, every year, I would wait for the feeling to come. Sometimes it would come late, but the Spirit always came. I took this Spirit for granted, and not until lately did I start to wonder what this was all about. I have come to (I think) a reasonable conclusion. I believe that this spirit dwells within us all and is innate to this human species of ours. Then, I ask “why at Christmas”? At Christmas, I am reminded of so many lovely things. I am reminded of my Catholic upbringing, to strive to be good and the longing for peace on Earth. I am reminded that it is better to give than to receive. I make a vow to try to be kinder to my fellow man, to help the poor, and I may even give a hug to an irksome or mean spirited co-worker and wish them a genuine Merry Christmas. For a moment in Church, I will reach out and wish strangers peace in their lives with warm sincerity and love in my heart. Of course, I should be having these feelings every day of the year, and not just on Christmas Eve. These feelings make me feel good. So I am going to try to become more intimate with the spiritual part of me. I believe that is what religion is meant to give us. Not just my religion but all religions: strive for what is good. I just do not understand why people become so pious about their religions….after all, we are all one, just born and raised in different parts of the world and in different cultures. I do not take everything I was taught as a Catholic in a literal sense but more as symbolic teachings. How can one say their religion is the only one when there are so many in this world of ours……from my point, they are all beautiful and valid and necessary. I believe we can all become closer to our spiritual side if we can embrace the basic teachings of our own and all religions. It is those who focus on the differences who cause nations to become divided, religious wars to rage, bitterness and hatred to abound. Ironically, in my opinion, it is the people who fanatically condemn others, are self righteous and espouse to be so holy that have never felt the spirit of which I am speaking. It is not that they do not have the spirit, but for whatever circumstances that shaped them in their lives, they have not been able to get in touch with it or maybe only fleetingly. I am just an ordinary woman but I believe I can make a difference. I will try to keep in touch with my spirit and I will pass the knowledge of my spirit to my children and grandchildren and to whoever else crosses my path in life. Some may reject it and other will embrace it, and those that do will make a positive difference to others in their lives. If I felt as peaceful and spiritual and loving as I did on Christmas all the year around, along with my fellow man, think of what a wonderful world this would be!