Friday, November 16, 2012

Spiritual Friday: "What's the big deal?" I'll tell you.

Welcome to Spiritual Friday. When I started this blog, I decided to take one day a week to focus on more spiritual aspects of life that may or may not deal with DIY and Decor. The reason being that I want to keep my life as balanced as possible.

Today I wanted to talk about the phrase "what's the big deal?" What sparked this idea for me was the reaction of my friends on Facebook about this recent Halloween. While I was fortunate enough this year to not see my Facebook news feed filled with as many arguments as last year between those who celebrate and those who don't, it still looked like Servant of God vs. Patriotic American. Maybe a bit exaggerated, but there were definitely some rude comments from both sides. I myself, was left in the middle watching the show and contemplating the whole thing. I couldn't help but imagine the devil sitting back and laughing his hee-haa off at us saying we are so easily fooled and divided.

I noticed two main themes: What's the big deal? It's just (insert controversial topic) and that is totally un-Islamic. While the two extreme responses and tones in people's writing bothered me, the former comment frustrated me the most. Why? It's dangerous to brush off an important decision with a simple and quite meaningless comment. The comment itself goes against the first message God sent to Muslims. God told us to read, educate our selves. What's the big deal  is like a wild fire of ignorance. Once it catches it's all over the place and people repeat it without even thinking. And before you know it damage is catastrophic. Or at least it can be at times. It also instigates peer-pressure. It starts with what's the big deal and ultimately leads to but everyone is doing it. It's not an educated justification for ones actions.

So Halloween, itself may not be catastrophic. My friend David summed up Halloween in this day in age the best: "Halloween used to be 1/3 awkward, 1/3 risqué, 1/3 half-assed... now it's just 100% friends' cute babies..." However, when I see people defending their beliefs they have crossed the line of respect for each other. I mean I though I saw the "ugly" in people during election season. Muslims talking about Halloween was just as ugly.

So how did Halloween mutate from scaring away spirits to scaring each other with a little cute and candy in between? I can't help but imagine the tiny flame that is what's the big deal slowly, but surely engulfing almost an entire world and persuading people that Halloween is just fun. After reviewing the history of Halloween, so I myself can make a decision once and for all, I realized that while it wasn't nearly as evil back then as it is now, people still argue that in this day in age it's "just fun" where as back then it was "evil". People don't even know what the heck they are talking about and that is my point!!

I'm not here to judge those who celebrate or not. I want to raise an awareness on the dangers of brushing off decisions (big or small) with a simple what's the big deal? statement.

When I was a kid I celebrated Halloween, I was also in girl scouts. One of the troop members was a Christian girl whose family did not partake in Halloween. She couldn't even make a Halloween craft. This was the late 80's early 90's. Back then I thought she was a weirdo, what's the big deal, everyone does it? I wish I could find that girl now and tell her I'm sorry I disrespected you because your convictions were not popular.

Don't get me wrong, this post IS NOT about judging others because of their views on Halloween. It's merely an example of how a tradition based on superstition became popular, commercialized and some of the powerful justifications for it's acceptance in our culture today was and still is What's the big deal? Seriously? I get that not everyone hones in on the evilness of it, but that IS the Halloween of today not yester-century as one of my friends called it. What else is it if not evil? It's all about witches, goblins, skeletons a little bit of cute here and there. Lets be real though, Knotts Scary farm and all the spook-fests across the nation are not cute.

Halloween in it's original form wasn't about scaring each other the way we do today, it was about scaring away evil spirits from harming ones family. Even though to me that is not a better reason to celebrate Halloween, I see that over time people have no knowledge and they don't care. The goal is meaningless fun without judgement. 

I decided to do a little experiment. While there were many posts on Facebook for and against Halloween, I took only one post (against Halloween) that had 642 'likes' and 43 comments. I read through the entire 45 comments to get a perspective from both sides.

This thread was CRAZY to say the least. Again, I'm not judging anyone, I am simply reflecting on the fact that what's the big deal? is so frequently used. On top of that, people were really harsh on each other. Is Halloween or any holiday or any belief really worth offending others over especially when the importance of that holiday is rooted in what's the big deal? It blows me away that the justification is worth the disrespect of others just to prove oneself "right"? Even the religious people forgot that love is the key to sharing wisdom.

I decided not to share the Facebook status update along with the comments. What I can tell you is this; while some tried to be respectful and calm,  almost everyone was defensive and rude, even if their opinions were backed by valid facts or arguments.  But because these opinions were flung in such a know-it-all manner, it really made me realize this way of lazily arguing what's the big deal can be very problematic. Ultimately if people tend to dismiss small matters, over time serious issues can arise as a result. 


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