Have you ever gone Christmas caroling? Have you ever had carolers come to your door? Were they actually NOT carolers but a man trying to win your heart a-la-Love Actually or Hillary Rodham Clinton trying to pull your vote a-la-SNL? Are you confused? Ok, fair, lets try that again.
I went caroling almost every year as a child. We went to nursing homes and sang our little hearts out for all the elderly folks (thats the pc term right? not just old people?). We would sing Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells, all the while trying not to pass out in the extreme heat (I swear they keep those places at a suffocating 98 degrees- which, subsequently leads me to believe that caroling in nursing homes was where the early 2000s pop sensation got their name). The thing that bummed me out, was how we sang the same songs year after year. I get it, most Christmas songs are classics for a reason, and people love the classics. Now that I too am an 'old' person I too love (classic) Christmas music and there are certain songs I look forward to listening to every year, however-
How many of you just scowled? You love Little Drummer Boy, don't you? You are thinking to yourself, "Who doesn't love that song?!" ME! It is too long, too much pa-rum-pa-pa-pumming for my taste. But, in all fairness, you are absolutely right, people LOVE IT; this fact has been made even more obvious by its playing on every holiday station ever, no matter how many times you ( or I) give it a thumbs down- seriously. So it came as no surprise when yesterday, as I was running around town, (shout out to kind of knowing your way around in a new city!) what should come on my Spotify but Little Drummer Boy.
I could have changed the song or the station but it was gray and rainy and I lacked the motivation to do so. I let the pa-rum-pa-pa-pumming play on as the misty rain coated the wind shield. And do you know something? I kind of got into it, shocking I know! A Christmas miracle? I think not. I was hooked into the lyrics, falling prey to their candor, I rolled them over in my mind as I rolled from freeway to side street, from side street to my street, from my street to my driveway, the words played on in my mind- Do you see what I see?
INSERT PLOT TWIST HERE!
You thought you were in for a rant on Christmas carols- You were wrong! That sounds hostel, lets try again... you are in for a surprise... better?
Any ways! Lets get back to the real point of this point- tis the season after all.
Do you see what I see?
How good is that question? Do you see what I see? Do you know what I know? Most people see the world one way, they see their POV (point of view) and that's it. Quick question... do you realize HOW MANY POINTS OF VIEW THERE ARE!? Seriously. Think about that for one second. Does your brain hurt yet? Are you traveling while you read this? Look around the airport, how many other people are trying to get home for the holidays? What is their story? What are they carrying? Physically, emotionally, spiritually? Are you sitting in a coffee shop? There are conversations, careers, and community connections happening all around you. Are you at home with your significant other? Are you at your families home for the holidays? Odds are you see the world differently than some (if not all) of the people you are with and that, at first can be frustrating...
What if you were to challenge that pattern of frustration this weekend? Ask yourself, "Do they see what I see?" or better still, "Can they see what I see?".
This question makes my head buzz (then again maybe thats the coffee I am drinking). It is liberating, it frees you from carrying the ignorance or opinions of others. Instead of getting angry, it makes me curious, it makes me want to be more open, so that I can be more informed. They may not be able to see how you see, but you can have grace and (try to) see how they see, not to change how you think or feel necessarily, but so that you can shift the dynamic around you from one of hostility or tip-toeing, to one of openness*.
I will never be able to MAKE someone see how I see, but if I am willing to engage them and listen, to see how they see, how much more willing will they be to trying on the lenses through which I view the world?
What glasses are you wearing? What do you see? What do you want those around you to see?
I have so many more thoughts on this... stay tuned, there is more to come.
Happy Holidays you beautiful radiant humans! May you see and be seen this season. Grace and peace.
*Please note- this post comes with a disclaimer- You can not and should not use this to goat your friends, family, and loved ones into certain conversations. This is not your excuse for forcing peoples hand. It is simply a tool for yourself, a way to keep yourself in check first and foremost. So that when Uncle. Ned is going on and on about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named at the dinner table you can take a deep breath and ask yourself, "How does Ned see the world?" Odds are he is a conservative who has always been a conservative, he has seen the highs and lows of our nation and is frustrated by the corruption and, at the core of his being, he wants certainty, change, and hope just as much as you do, he just sees a different way of meeting that goal (no matter right or wrong her may be).