I am not Irish. For some, that might seem sad; others are grateful. But I want to take a moment to talk about celebrations from which some may feel excluded.
Think how the Irish feel about all humans qualifying for membership. I haven’t met an Irish person who objected to a global membership.
It is the ultimate expression of inclusion. The celebration has evolved into focusing on having a good time. No politics. No discussion about topics that divide. Just enjoy the day with others.
The degree of how much to celebrate is a personal choice. But one can’t give or receive too many “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” wishes.
The more personal the celebration, the more I feel I should not participate: Obvious events such as weddings and funerals of people I don’t know. But a party with strangers to raise a glass of beer, green in North America by request, seems like the proper thing to do. It’s good for the soul.
Canada Day is another day of celebration for everyone. Or it used to be, as I am becoming more aware. The past few years have sensitized many people that some folks don’t have cause to celebrate. Thankfully, people in Canada have a right not to celebrate. Anyone can choose not to celebrate in a way that works for them.
The Edmonton Heritage Festival is a huge annual celebration held in its river valley. In 2017 over 400,000 visitors entered the site over three days. Many countries set up their flag and offer food, dancing and music. Again, another example of inclusivity. You are welcome to eat, drink, be merry, or just watch people.
Please give this a bit of a think. Recall a regular annual event that you celebrate. Is it with friends, family and acquittances or with strangers? Are there rituals you participate in or avoid?
Now try to narrow it down to a unique family celebration. Often family gatherings have an understanding, written or not, that specific topics are unacceptable. Do you have such a topic list of issues to avoid?
I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your own bit-of-a-think below.
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And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.