It has come to pass that we humans have finally and completely lost our minds. Zip knows this and is worried for us.
Okay, not really. He's only worried that he'll have to stand in the snow longer than he prefers, which is as little as possible, but like the rest of us, he is ever hopeful that better times await. And breakfast.
For the past couple of weeks the Interwebs and the TV News have been filling the air with the Joy of the Season.
Okay, not really that, either. We've been bombarded not with joy, but with angst manufactured from whole cloth for no reason other than to busy up the 24-hour news cycle, I suspect. So today we're going to visit what it is that is sending so many little heads with over-sized worry pans over the edge into full-out battle mode. It would appear that it all stems from one source: our very human desire to vocalize in an effort to connect with our fellow humans.
The problem with all this vocalization is that many of us are very much sucked up into not just our own heads but the heads of those big-worry-pan types, and for some reason we've chosen (and it really is a choice, you know) to go all "How dare you?" We're hanging our hate on the silliest of all things, that being the tags we've each chosen to attach to simple offers of good tidings.
I say to you that there is no difference among Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and Happy Hannukah and Peaceful Kwanzaa and the rest. None. They are tags. Labels. Chained identifiers that have meaning only within our own small bubble worlds. I posit that in fact what we are all trying to desperately to communicate is the simple wish...
There are reasons for our inability to let go of our self-involvement long enough to just be happy that there is still hope available to us. Hope for peace. Hope for health. Hope for a better day tomorrow. Hope enough to go around. We, like many large animals, have as our native state Cautious Curiosity. We want so badly to touch each other, and we are so afraid we might lose something if we do. And in our efforts to connect, we wish good things for each other. Then we spin on our egos and blast each other for not engaging in...what? Mind reading? Something without a name that would require us to do that impossible thing and enter the sphere of reality of another human (or horse or cat or honey badger or whatever). We fear that each contact will cause us to move an inch closer to some level of death. We fear. We fear fear! We fear strangeness at the same time that we crave excitement and novelty. We're nuts on a hard roll. That's just the way it is.
If there's anything we can learn from our horses it's these things:
- There's always another day as long as you're not eaten by a mountain lion during the night.
- The one standing next to you is just as likely to be eaten as you are, and there's safety in numbers, so try to stand closer and don't bite each other.
- Someone should try to stay awake while everyone else sleeps, but that doesn't require a committee meeting and a vote. Take turns and don't sweat it unless you're sure there's a mountain lion.
- If you wait long enough, the sun will come up and there will be green grass, but the flies will come with it. You pick how to react to that news.
- If you bite, you might get bitten harder in return, so pick your battles wisely.
- Don't be the weakest link if you can help it.
- Don't run with snow balled up under your feet. That's stupid.
- Be quiet more than not.
- You can't scratch your own withers, so play nice with your neighbors.
- Have hope.
So, Thinking Horsemen and faithful readers, I leave you with that wish, not just for the holiday season (which, if you think about it and activate "holidays" on your Google calendar widget, is all year round). Unchain your hope from the tags. We made all this stuff up. We can make up better ways of dealing with it if we try.
That's my hope.