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I know Christmas is a long way off, but my mind travels to some things with very little provocation. Somehow or other the topic of political correctness came up here recently, and it got me to thinking.
I have never really understood why people get up in arms over saying “Merry Christmas”. I’m not Christian, but I have never once been offended by that statement. Someone is wishing me happiness and good will, how could that be offensive? Likewise, saying “Happy Holidays” should not be offensive to a Christian. A show of caring and good will is a good thing, no matter the words used. I wouldn’t be bothered if someone said “Happy Kwanzaa” or “Blessed Yule” to me either. The meaning is all the same. I actually say “Merry Christmas” to people, or “Happy holidays”, it all depends on what feels right.
Some people consider it offensive to use a greeting that doesn’t fit their personal beliefs. I have to ask then, how is one supposed to know? Unless you wear a sign, no one is going to know your faith and what greeting would be best suited to you. We use what is meaningful to us, because that’s what we know. “Happy holidays” or “Season’s greetings” are what people say when they’re afraid of offending someone not of their faith. And yet, many people are still offended.
“God Bless You” is another one people seem bothered by. If I sneeze and someone says that, I always reply with “thank you”. I don’t care if someone says “God Bless You”, “Bless you” or “Gesundheit” when I sneeze. It’s a wish of health, and that’s all that matters. I cannot imagine taking offense to a word of kindness.
I believe that people should stop being offended by such things. No one can know your faith unless you’re wearing a sign. If someone gives you a word of kindness, accept it as such. There’s no need to tear them apart for not doing it in the way that you would. As much as this truth may sting, it’s not all about you. That person is showing kindness to you. Not knowing a thing about you, they are wishing you well. What’s offensive is anyone treating someone poorly for an honest showing of good will toward another human being.
Do you feel a need to be PC when you greet someone at the holidays? What do you say when someone sneezes? Are you offended when someone uses a greeting to you that doesn’t fit your own spiritual beliefs?