…so the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
finding faith and common ground the best that they were able…
Before Jesus (as reported in the Bible, specifically Matthew 5) said “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”, the Delphic Maxims said “Live together meekly” (Ομιλει πραως).
Meekness isn’t really a value of modern Western society.
Of course, the meaning of the term “meek” has shifted from its original use quite a bit. Meek used to mean something like: gentle, quiet, benevolent, kind, and modest. Today though, meek means docile, submissive, spiritless, and tame. In those terms, I don’t really consider meekness as an admirable trait either.
But I do think that there is something to be said for finding ways to live together.
Perhaps, considering the time of year it is, we could start with opting out of the so-called War on Christmas. I’m not sure that anyone other than Fox News (and people that actually take Fox News seriously) really thinks that there is actually a War on Christmas, but I think there are better rebuttals than “Christmas was stolen from Paganism” memes, billboards for reason, etc. How about we say “Thanks” when someone says “Happy/Merry ______” and get over it? The existence of people that celebrate a day differently than me is not a personal attack.
Perhaps, considering the time of year it is, we could begin with starting a tradition of service to our communities–to volunteering our time, effort, energy (which may or may not be represented as money) into programs that support our ideals. Wouldn’t it be great if this time of year was when we renewed a tradition of giving that lasted all year long, rather than salving our holiday conscience?
Perhaps, considering the time of year it is, we could start by examining our consumption. Choosing how and why and where we buy things more wisely. Maybe we could consume less by buying better quality, longer lasting things. Maybe we can worry less about the current trendy gadget, after all, it will be replaced in about six months.
If we start here, now, in learning to live together with intention, perhaps we can begin to live together softly. We can live together with gentleness and live together kindly, together in quiet, in peace, in benevolence.