The day after Halloween, I walked into Starbucks and was slapped with two wake-up calls: my heavily sugared coffee and the hum of Christmas music. Jesus, are the holidays here already? By the time I finished my cup and my eyes opened wide enough to see, I was introduced to exhibit A of first world problems: all of the hoopla around the lack of Christmas-themed decorations on those signature red cups. Good to see our heads are in the right place during this giving season. I don't know if you've been to Starbucks lately, but it's actively Christmas-themed. Everything is red. Where in God's name is the blue and the gold? A Menorah could be thrown into the mix just as easily as a tree ornament, and who could forget about Kwanzaa?
But enough with the holiday cheer, realistically I have no issue with Starbucks and their decision to appeal to the apparent Christian in all of us, clearly they're rolling in it, but I find myself wondering, what is politically correct (PC) this holiday season?
Flash forward, I'm buying season appropriate cards (maybe it's not a dying art). When I say there's a 10:1 ratio of Christmas cards to every other kind of greeting, it's not an exaggeration. Here I was thinking the Atheists were winning. I'm honestly still unclear on whether it's appropriate to cross out "Christmas" and write "Hanukkah" on the inscription and call it a day, yet I have enough sense to realize this is not what most would call "politically correct." Does it really matter though? Should it? The fact that PC is currently trending on my Facebook feed must prove its relevance, and this season of South Park, PC themed, only reinforces that.
If political correctness means consciously being as least offensive to all parties as possible, I get the appeal of that; I want respect and consideration just as much as the next guy. However, the line between in-poor-taste and overly-sensitive is getting blurred, and it seems we've collectively forgotten how to grow a pair. Why is there all this hype around saying the right thing? I was under the impression that actions speak louder than words. Eventually, we've spent so much time debating between "Merry Christmas," "Joyous Kwanzaa," and "Happy Holidays" that we've forgotten to volunteer our time at the children's hospital down the street, the soup kitchen around the corner, or the church we're apparently so committed to. The true spirit of the holidays does not lie in maintaining the precious feelings of the over-privileged, or trying to put ourselves at the center of everyone else's world, but rather in spreading happiness to places it's seldom found. I'd rather be a good person than a politically correct prick on Christmas, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, fuck it, even Easter.
I am not defending hateful comments of any genre. There's a special place in Hell (If you're into that sort of thing) for people harboring that kind of negativity and ignorance. I am not condoning exclusion, deliberate sabotage, or even micro aggressions. My point is that as a nation we have bigger things to worry about than whether our university classrooms are a safe space; they're meant to make us feel uncomfortable, just as much of the world inevitably will. We should be cultivating our compassion in ways more productive than over-thinking whether Billy's statement last week was offensive or not. We should be fixing the world together, because by some miracle, we all have the capacity to do that. We should be eliminating the "us versus them" mentality. We should be living up to our full potentials, and there are much more efficient ways to do that than by victimizing ourselves through the PC argument.