Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Back Pages: ..One More Thing ..


..One More Thing ..

Heading Home For The Holidays
I had my rant yesterday about the use of the greeting 'Happy Holidays', but there is one more thing that has been eating away at my soul for some time now. It's the increasing political correctness when it comes to this season.. especially in the schools. Children are no long allowed to sing Holiday song. Let's be frank here, they are no longer allowed to sing Christmas Songs. Teachers are not allowed to mention Santa Claus to the children because it corrupt some children who's families do not practice the tradition. As if this mythical purveyor of good will could corrupt a child.On the streets of the towns and villages, there are complaints lodged, protests organized, and, in some cases, lawsuits filed over religious displays on public property. I think that this has just gone way too far. It causes discord and resentment between the different religions and does no one any good at all. Remember: This  is public property, and these groups are part of the public.
  As for the schools cutting out all mention of these Holidays, it's just sad. It's an overreach by officious bureaucrats and it denies the children learning opportunities. It's important that they learn about different cultures and different religions. Ignorance of these rituals and traditions, in the long run, breeds suspicion and resentment that are difficult to remedy, once a child has become an adult. I think the traditions should be taught and celebrated, the songs sung, and the children taught that, despite our differences, we are all good and that, together, we make up this great republic.
  When I was back in Elementary School, 60 years ago, I had some great teachers who helped us celebrate the Christmas and Chanukah holidays. We made Christmas Trees, we were taught the story of the Nativity, we made Menorahs and discussed how the oil to light the menorah miraculously lasted eight days. The Jewish children brought in dreidels and taught us how to play, and one child in particular, David Brandon, told us about the celebration in his home. Then, we would sing Chanukah and Christmas songs together, while the music teacher would pound them out on the old upright piano. It was a great time, and helped us to understand and respect on another. I think that this is important. I think that a short history of all of the celebrations should be taught. As I said, ignorance breeds suspicion and contempt. We should go back to these old ways that proved so successful. If you doubt that, well, I am a product of them.
  These are my thoughts as the Winter Solstice approaches, followed by Christmas, Kwanza and the New Year. We are all important to one another. I think it's time that we learned to accept everyone and celebrate the Holiday Season as it should be: With Peace On Earth, and Good Will Towards All Men and Women.
 Peace and Love to All
 John Zaffino, December 19, 2013
 Carmel, New York

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