The holiday season is in full gear with festive decorations, repetitive radio songs, and cheesy commercials all showcasing this season’s spirit. Maybe to some, the reason for the season means spending time with friends and family. For others, the holidays’ central focus could be the religious reason behind the décor, songs, and presents. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to take time to determine that although everyone has specific reasons to celebrate the holiday, it is crucial to not let borders between the reasons of celebrating come into place when celebrating this seasons' holidays.
In my one of my literature classes, my fellow university students and I have been given the opportunity to examine and critique the “borders” set up in society and the world around us. We have gotten into deep discussions surrounding the questions “why do we create these borders?”, “why are they so necessary in society?” and “what is the real reason we feel the need to create not just physical, geological borders, but borders in our identity and others as well?” After consideration, I believe that this holiday season, it is important to understand these questions raise a certain debate in regard to religion. While organized religion holds a place of wonderful congregation, a family and moral set of standards for some people, I think that it is also important to regard and think crucially about the borders it can create in regard to everyone’s perception of identity. It is important to honor religion and it’s individual meaning to everyone; however, do not let the overruling sense of personal identity and fear of “others” hold a dividing factor or “border” in the world and other beautiful souls around us.
One of the ways that religion can divide us is in our search for identity. While it is important to have a strong sense of identity and belonging, one should not let that constrict them from exploring or separating themselves from people of different faiths, beliefs, or lack thereof. It is important to practice acceptance for all religions and, instead of focusing on the differences, focus on the beauty of the similarities between them. For example, the "Golden Rule" is a key practice in every faith. If people focused less on the differences and trusted that all people of empathy wish for the same thing – peace. The world truly would be a much happier, a coexisting unity for everyone – a place without borders.
In my opinion, the best way to destroy these borders is to practice acceptance. Doing so will help our society to expand their horizons and diminish ignorance. Empathy is universal, among all people. While it is important to some to keep individuality and have strong faith, do not forget to experience and explore other beliefs and religions, especially during the holiday season. Do not allow differences to distinguish friendships and oblige to ignorance – instead, coexist in celebration and unity.