PROULX: Make every day holy!
Shaun Proulx reports from London that the Church of England is outraged at candy company dropping the word "Easter" from their Easter candy.
SHAUN PROULX/ 24 HOURS
Here in London, England, where I'm in town for a speaking gig, Easter approaches and the Church of England is not amused. It's about the eggs, the Easter eggs: 80 million are sold annually this time of year in the U.K., but an increasing number of manufacturers have dumped the word "Easter" from their packaging.
"Airbrushing faith!" the Church of England has cried. Making matters worse, a 2010 study reveals that 53% of kiddies haven't got a rabbit's tail of a clue as to what Easter's about at all: 30% think it's the Easter Bunny's birthday; one in 20 think it's to mark the birth of Jesus; 25% think it's a nod to the invention of chocolate.
But a sweet solution has hippity-hopped and plopped: the launch of the "Real Easter Egg," and a reintroduction of religion back into the candy market (where religion obviously belongs.) This new, correct egg also comes with a 24-page Easter egg storybook, meant to ensure all children here learn what's "real" when it comes to Easter. This is OK, if those children are Christian, and if this is what their parents want them taught at the sweet shop. But what if the child is Islamist, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, or is of a sect within Christianity like Jehovah's Witness? None of these religions recognize this specific ancient Christian festival called Easter, so in a nation like England - so very much like Canada - how can the shoving of Christianity (however candy-coated, and I so adore chocolate) down the throats of children be considered reasonable or anything but shameful? Especially in times of all the religious wars within the global melting pot we all share? It is shameful, and once again, if you're not Christian, or, if you're like me and identify as spiritual, "the holidays" - religion or retailer-driven, or both - keep growing more and more irksome. The good news is there's a simple solution: Resist spiritually by making every day holy.
Especially the ones that are holidays for you, and, should you be that high-minded, the ones that are not, but are for others.
This is done by consciously, deliberately, celebrating daily the sacred in the ordinary: The gift of each meal; that you woke up; that you are loved; that you are blessed to have pets in your experience, if you are; kindness from strangers; being appreciated for your talents, and appreciating back those gifts possessed by the people around you. Also, the roof over your head; the clothes you wear; the small luxuries you are able to enjoy; eager anticipation for all the goodness that is ahead in your life and the knowing that the universe adores you; honour it all. And on holidays, like Easter, that are never mine, and quite possibly not yours, celebrating the sacred in the ordinary is very simple. We're currently surrounded by so much rebirth, and the aforementioned eggs - controversial as they are - remain inarguable symbols of the new and so easy to honour: brunch! Start your seedlings or get your soil ready for late spring planting if you're lucky enough to have a garden. Walk outside with loved ones at dusk and celebrate the balance of light and dark as the sun begins to tip the scales. Hike through a ravine or trail, and observe all the new things around you: flowers, insects, birds, and plants. Meditate on all the considerable good and new waiting for you right now.
Decide your way how, what, and when you honour. There's no right or wrong to any of this holiday business, or any holy day you care to declare - except when dangerous tipping points are reached like the one here in England, where Christianity, a religion followed by just a third of the world, wants to teach unsuspecting, candy-loving kids (of countless types of faiths and cultures and beliefs) their chocolate-coated Christian realities. That is when Easter tastes like rotten egg.
Shaun Proulx hosts The Shaun Proulx Show on SiriusXM Canada Talks channel 167. He is the publisher of TheGayGuideNetwork.com and leads a #ThoughtRevolution about busting through personal limits onShaunProulx.com.