Saturday, December 26, 2009

A ‘present-day’ meaning for Christmas

While there are many views on the meaning of Christmas, mine relate with Abraham Maslow’s table of human needs, shown at the top of the quotations section below. For me, Christmas is a birth of the most noble of principles and values into our physical world. A treasured few include love, compassion, being of service, tolerance of differing views, cultures and beliefs.

These most principled of values, which for me also include artistry – the manifestation of our inner vision of truth and beauty within the physical world – are in fact, ‘self actualization’, as shown by Dr. Maslow. And Christmas is about birthing the most elevated ways of being, into our world… a world where humans too often live lives focused on fulfilling their more basic of needs, rather than seeking to manifest the higher ones.

With most people this is not by choice. Because of poverty and being on the receiving end of exploitation, there is little time or resources available to do anything other than survive and try to feel safe in the world. So, like the main character in Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol, we would do well to reflect on any ways in which we may be, as individuals or as a society, like Mr. Scrooge… on the ‘dishing it out’ side of exploitation.

Once we are OK on that count, how may we give birth to our highest of aspirations, artistry and service or seek to be a more decent human beings, in our own corner of the planet?