To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.    ― Mahatma Gandhi

Last month and the month before, when everything was covered in blue and white or red and green and sparkles, some of you may have celebrated one holiday or another.  Maybe you celebrated American Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Human Rights Day… That one is December 10 in case you want to mark your calendar.  Some of you said “Merry Christmas”.  Some of you may have been upset that others said “Happy Holidays”.

Last month, someone I know who celebrates Christmas asked me a question.  They had recently learned that I am one who says “Happy Holidays”.  And the question was, “This time of year, what does someone like YOU believe?”  Keep in mind, this was not a question of sincere interest.  It was phrased with a derogatory tone.  I think they actually looked down their nose at me.  The stressed words in the question were “someone like you”.  She meant, someone who says “Happy Holidays”.  She meant, a heathen.

Last month and the month before, I loved, I laughed, I cried, I gave gifts, I was thankful, I celebrated, I hugged, I wished, I traveled, I fought, I stayed positive, I believed.  I believed in love, in human beings, in laughter, in friendship, giving and being thankful, celebrations, hugging and kissing, wishing and hoping, traveling and taking a journey.  I believed in me, and in you, and in those who say “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Holidays” or any other greeting, regardless of whether they look down their noses at others or not.

I believe that, if more of us celebrated Human Rights Day, that we all could believe in anything we want to.

Last month, when I was asked what someone like ME believes in, I refrained from the profanity on the tip of my tongue.  I simply looked in the direction of my amazing Chinese students and said, “Well, to begin with, I believe in them.  Even if you don’t.”


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I started this blog in 2010 as we prepared to move to Shenyang China. Since coming back to the US in 2015, my writing has been less consistent. Trying to find a voice here...

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