Christmas Eve 2012: Feeling Grateful

24 Dec

pride-social-justice-progressiveWhile I am not a religious person, I am spiritual and find god in reading Walt Whitman, or watching the ocean during a winter storm, or witnessing the kindness in people I am fortunate enough to have in my life. Here on this Christmas Eve, I have been reflecting on how grateful I am for so many of the people in my life and the many kindnesses offered to me and accepted from me.

I am grateful that I have a life partner that travels with me on this, often times bizarre, wild journey called life.  I am exceedingly privileged that I have family, friends, and education.  It is a tremendous gift to be included in a network of folk that are social justice activists working for equality and equity for all.  I am grateful and privileged to have mentors who help guide me and encourage my growth as a social justice activist.

There is so much for me to be grateful for and there is also so much we all have yet to work for towards equality and ensuring people are treated with dignity and respect.  My wish list for things to happen within my lifetime is ambitious, but doable if we all act collectively for the rights of others — if we create a choir of voices for the rights of women, of the LGBT community, of all communities that are marginalized and stigmatized. We — all of us — must use our voices to eradicate racism and poverty, sexism, ageism, homophobia, and all of the intersections of oppression; this is my greatest wish.

It is difficult not to be in a reflective mood after Sandy Hook and the exceedingly idiotic remarks of Wayne LaPierre.  I think we would be far better off if we put a teacher in every gun store, rather than a gun in every school.  During this holiday season and in the wake of great tragedy, I hope everyone hears the words, “I love you” from a dear one, and that everyone exchanges a hug with someone.  May we all feel compelled to look for the goodness in others and to stand in solidarity with those who are marginalized.

13 Responses to “Christmas Eve 2012: Feeling Grateful”

  1. Jani December 24, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Happy Festivus, Michael and Robert. Love love

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt December 24, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Thank you, Jani. May you and yours feel loved and supported, my dear fellow social justice activist.

  2. Central Oregon Coast NOW December 24, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Beautiful, Michael. My wish for you and Robert is that your hopes and dreams do become a reality in our lifetimes.

  3. dykewriter December 24, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Reblogged this on dyke writer and commented:
    it’s not my holiday

    but this is a true story

  4. le artiste boots December 24, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Michael, it is nice to have a reflective day to count our blessings. Thanks for being my friend.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt December 24, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Thank you for your friendship and constant voice of reason. Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday. With great affection, Michael.

  5. Jay December 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    I also enjoy reading Walt Whitman, and watching the ocean, and witnessing kindness, but I prefer to set spirituality aside and formulate these pleasures as an appreciation of beauty and goodness. I think I hung out with too many New Age hippies as a younger person–spirituality makes me shudder just as much as religiosity does, which isn’t entirely rational or fair on my part.

    But I’m not the complete curmudgeon. Best wishes and a Happy 2013 to you and yours, Michael. This song expresses things in a manner I find touching:

    • Jay December 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      Um. The link was supposed to be to Tim Minchin’s White Wine in the Sun. A playlist headed by Abba at their most absurd isn’t what I had in mind, but its probably a bit more funny.

  6. webwordwarrior December 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    What a lovely holiday wish. Belated (or early) holiday wishes to you and Robert. Here’s to a progressive and positive 2013.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt December 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

      Many thanks, Lex. Wishing you a progressive 2013 and year full of great joy and love.


  1. Christmas Eve 2012: Feeling Grateful « Central Oregon Coast NOW - December 24, 2012

    […] Christmas Eve 2012: Feeling Grateful. […]

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