Columnist hopes everyone finds peace in holiday season

Brady C. Mallory

Brady C. Mallory

Many of us who find it hard to spare one moment to even breathe are often displeased to hear the ever-familiar sound of the weathered Salvation Army bell. The week before Thanksgiving we see a stranger adorned with a thick parka and gloves piously waiting for a handful of coins and a gesture of goodwill. Someone working with the spirit of the holiday season is deemed as an annoyance, as most off-the-cuff comments will tell you. In the hustle of the everyday real world, it is easy to reserve just one part of the year for generosity toward others, both known and unknown.

As I see it, the bell ringers are one of the most joyous signs of this jubilant season, in which we sense a shift in the balance of our character. As the season begins to change and our eyes notice the newly stubbled fields of snow, we too, change. Our friends change. Our priorities change. Our lives change.

Change, though dubious in results, during the holiday season brings my mind to my family. This Christmas is my first without any grandparents, as my grandfather passed away over the summer. This Christmas is my first as an uncle to my nephew Henry, who was born last winter. Perhaps this season of good tidings may remind us, as it always does to me, that we have limitless soul mates in the people who cross our paths. People leave us, and people are given to us, all in the grand scheme of making us the people we are destined to be. A part of life closes, preparing us for whatever is next.

As I have learned in the duration of my four-and-a-half years at SDSU, a sense of family transcends blood lineage. Family are the people we surround ourselves with during the light and during the dark. This family might resemble a girl in your Math 021 class who later goes to Reba McEntire concerts with you. Perhaps it is a student organization adviser, who over the years becomes more than a workplace superior and turns into a dear friend. Lastly, family can take the shape of a roommate whom you think of as a brother rather than the guy across the hall. All of these people whom I did not know came into fruition because my life changed.

A very wise woman in my life, Reverend Shari Mason, led me to look at the Christmas season, and perhaps life in general, very differently. At age 22, I do not associate Christmas with the celebrated virgin birth. I have an image in my head of an adult Jesus wandering through a wilderness; an analogy of uncertainty, darkness and change.

We will never be the same people we were four years ago, because whether good, bad or indifferent, our views toward life and ourselves do not remain constant. Hopefully, we can find an inner strength to be open enough to receive whatever change is presented to us and ponder what providential meaning we must derive from it.

When the season comes to pass, and the cacophony of the Salvation Army bell ceases, we can hopefully keep whatever change we have noticed in ourselves rather than putting it in storage with the rest of the holiday decorations.

May every age, creed, gender, tax bracket, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation and child feel a sense of oneness again. Perhaps we can stop searching, and embrace God, Buddha, Allah or something within ourselves we did not know we had. This holiday season, and for every day of the year, may you find the people and whatever else makes you feel peace throughout every change that awaits you.

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