Enhance Your Holiday Giving (without spending a cent!)
KAIROS has embarked on a challenging campaign. In this day and age when online petitions can gather thousands of signatures in a matter of days and more people carry smartphones than pens we are asking people to print and circulate a PAPER petition. HOW are we going to collect enough signatures to make a difference with any government? Does it seem like an uphill battle?
Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said “we have described for you a mountain,” and then said it was up to us to do the climbing. Getting signatures on paper petitions AND getting those petitions delivered to the legislatures isn’t actually the challenging part. The challenging part is changing the hearts and minds of an entire country and reconciling those people one to another. Now that is a tall order and it will take time, perhaps generations.
So what does this have to do with ‘holiday giving’? Well, we have just come through Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday – where churches and charities try to get you to think about more than just spending your money on yourself and your loved ones, and to spend or give some of it to others. If you missed Giving Tuesday in all of the shopping frenzy, it is still not too late to make a donation. But I want you to stop and think for a moment about how you can enhance your holiday giving even further.
There’s no denying money has a place in reconciliation – to facilitate gatherings and healing journeys and in regard to restitution of the land – but it isn’t all about money. It is about open minds, shared understandings, common history…it is about relationships. What better time to begin than during the holiday season? A time of hope and peace and love and joy is a time for reconciliation.
When it comes right down to it, a paper petition might be just what I need to take that first step up the mountain and have a conversation about what really matters, what ‘peace on earth’ really means to me. I admit, it’s much easier to explain the Education for Reconciliation campaign in a church hall to 25 people who have chosen to be there, than to look around at my extended family and dive into Decolonization 101 at the dinner table.
This year, I’ll leave the petition on the kitchen counter and casually ask my sister-in-law to sign it as we’re cleaning up the dishes. Or, I`ll put it where someone might place a guest book for the neighbourhood party. Some may already agree. Some might sign without thinking, just because I ask. But some will wonder and question and even argue and that’s where the real climbing begins. Give a gift of reconciliation this holiday season. Sign the petition…and ask your friends and family to do the same.