Walking My, or Your, Talk during the “Holiday Season.”by Kathy Bonham on 12/18/13
December 17, 2013 Walking My, or Your, Talk during the “Holiday Season.” The "holiday" season, a euphemism for this religious period in December that includes more than the religion of Christianity, calls forth these ponderings in me. This is the season of giving but really it is the season of receiving. It is the season of supreme greed that comes from every direction. Yet it is the season of family gatherings, some good and some bad. It is a reverent period but it is an excuse for great partying as well so it is also a period of excuses for great excesses. We talk a lot, those of us from the Christian culture, of the “Spirit of Christmas” and ask what ever happened to it? It is the season of the perfect hypocrisy. Nearly all of us from Christian cultures partake in it even though we recognize the supreme irony of the touting of love and peace by the sellers who want our money and often will do a whole lot of questionable things to get it. Perhaps one of the hardest things to achieve, certainly for me, is to live life minute by minute according to my internalized system of values which are the ones I generally talk about, at least to myself, as I try to evaluate if I am being true to those values. Walking my talk or walking your talk is a little different. That means that whatever comes out of my or your mouths about right and wrong is what I and you demonstrate clearly through actions or omissions. We don't just say it but we must not do otherwise after it is said. I include here being true to one's own values. But first, I have to know if I have an internalized value system and if I do, do I know what this system says is right and wrong at any given time. That value system has to have deep roots as a result of testing, judging, and weighing. It is deeply set in experience. It makes sense and seems to render some fairness and justice to me and to others. It is BIG. It does not come and go and change with the winds of the times. To walk my talk I have to know the source of my talk. From what part of me does it come? Is it here today but probably gone tomorrow? Is it consistent even in its own discourse? Am I being faddish? Do I have a moral tether to something like a big rock or giant tree? Or is my tether a mere string that seldom holds for more than a blink of a shadowed eye? Consistency is not necessarily, I think, a great characteristic. To be consistent to values that are no longer meaningful or helpful and that we have determined to be shallow is foolish. Why do I accept as true what I do? I eschew the word believe for it means that I accept something on faith and not because I have experienced it. These questions are asked a lot because they are not simple for anyone. What do I accept as truth and why? I have to dig into that mine and discover that for myself. I have to get muddy and sweaty and tired. I have to know. How can I be true to myself if I do not know my own truth? How can I be true to anyone until I can be true to myself?