I’ve been trying to write a deep, meaningful, eloquent but also funny post — you know, no pressure — about the potential sacredness of Christmas even to grumpy old atheists like me, the way it can still be a holiday for those of us who don’t believe in the word “holy,” but it gets too personal and I can’t write it. I want to say something about giving, how what we usually call “selflessness” — generosity — has to stem from a place of self-worth. I want to tell you that in your darker days, if you ask for help you will often get it: people help not because they pity you, but because they want you not to suffer, not because suffering is shameful but because it is universal; even if they don’t understand your exact feelings, they understand what suffering is and want to alleviate it. But it gets too personal and I can’t write it. So I’ll wax philosophical instead.
We talk a lot here about the way entrenched social forces seem to conspire to make us miserable: to starve and punish ourselves for being who we are, to see our bodies as burdens rather than gifts, to deem ourselves unworthy of the simplest pleasures. Today, let’s focus instead on celebrating the kindnesses we’ve received and those we’ve given: the selflessness of others who have believed that our selves are every bit as worth caring for as every other human being’s. Whether you’re fat, thin, in-between, able-bodied, disabled, a person of color, white, queer, straight, female, male, trans, unhealthy, the picture of health, athletic, a bookworm, a social outcast or the darling of your community — whatever brought you here — you are fully human and deserving of happiness and of support when happiness seems unreachable. You are worthy of love. You are allowed to be happy to be this very person.
You are a gift to this world.