survival tips for family gatherings
SURVIVAL TIPS FOR FAMILY GATHERINGS
Well, it’s official. We’re in the Holidays. And here’s another ‘How to Survive the Holidays’ blog. Go ahead – scream! Yet, maybe, this one can encourage you.
This is not about grieving through Christmas, or how to deal with all the broken relationships. No. I would rather tackle the traditions of Christmas. So go ahead and scream again.
In a non-scientific poll, I asked people what they thought about how to cope through the three sacred festivals (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter). Here are a few comments that came up:
The last is my favorite. The designated driver, that is.
It also dawned on me that two of these holidays are supposed to be sacred, and I didn’t get one sacred comment on how to manage the holidays, such as “pray before you go”, etc.
So then, how do we cope with traditions and culture which seem to be practiced but not understood? Here are some thoughts.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
I have often spoken in front of numerous groups including churches, youth events, volunteer staff, fishing clubs, etc.
But I recently had the privilege of speaking to a group of individuals in a segment of our society that is often looked down upon. I was given ten minutes to speak and was asked to make it motivational. I was able to do that in 9 minutes and 32 seconds. I told them stories and made my key point – while having someone time me with a stopwatch.
After the event, I wondered why I was so well received by this group of individuals. I don’t think it was because I spoke for only 9 minutes or that I displayed incredible charisma and energy.
This group, however, responded differently from other groups. They listened attentively. I even received some comments during my talk that stumped me.
This was a group of ex-cons.
I believe that the warm reception they gave me was due, at least in part, to the fact that I was not there to judge them, or that I was fearful of their past or that I had the answer they needed to hear. I believe the reason they accepted me so graciously was because, rather than judge them, I accepted them. I shared some of my own painful journey with them and I was not focused on their past.
My talk was about looking ahead – versus looking back into our past – and not letting titles dictate who we are. I encouraged them by letting them know that their past does not have to predict their future.
I may never know why they responded so positively. The one thing I do know is that they taught me something. I learned from this experience. These men and women all play a vital role in our community. They work hard. They play hard. They genuinely care. They give respect and they expect respect. Even though they have spent time in jail.
Maybe we can take the time to reinforce a non-judgmental attitude by looking at people in the face, saying hi and genuinely communicating how great it is to meet them.