When we were kids (I’ve been wanting to say that for a while now) we had so much fun dressing up for Halloween as princesses and queens, cowgirls and Indians, nurses and waitresses, soldiers and Cossacks, old women and old men, girl scouts and boy scouts, hippies and dudes, Italians, Irish, and Poles, (I lived in a very diverse neighborhood), and much more, with no ill intent. The only goal we had in mind was to have fun, get as much of our favorite candy as possible, and be anyone other than ourselves … it WAS so much fun! And we had fun at school too.
We did presentations on our costumes in class. It gave everyone an opportunity to experience other cultures and ideas, have fun and eat candy in the classroom! No one thought our costumes were derogatory or degrading to another culture. Everyone defended their make-believe persona; no one wanted to be ridiculed – at least none that I knew in school. I’m sure there were some out there in the world whose intent was not honorable, but as long as those of us held true to our intent, they did not infiltrate our sacred circle of trick-or-treaters!
So why am I blogging about Halloween and costumes? Because Halloween reminds me to take a step back and remember that it is a time of possibilities. It is a time to remember I can laugh at myself and learn to forgive. I can be silly and not so serious. Halloween is much more than dressing up and devising clever ways to get the best candy. It is a time to be more than I am … it is the start of a parade of holidays … Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa to name a few.
In closing this blog, I encourage those who wish to use the holidays to elucidate and educate, to do so with good intent, respect and kindness, and to remember it comes with responsibility. Every action we take, positively or negatively, affects all our lives. Where intent goes, action follows.