Before writing this message, I had to really think about what this holiday means. Not being a Christian, the concept of resurrection combined with Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies just never really meshed with me.
But, I got to thinking about resurrection, and the thought occurred to me that resurrection can mean any number of things to different people. It's not exclusive to Christ. Not only that, but what we know as Easter isn't actually just a Christian celebration, it's a Pagan celebration, as well.
There was a Druidic tradition dating back to 4000 years ago of spring festivals welcoming the new year. Dancing around the May Pole, for example, is a modern echo of these ancient celebrations. And for more than 3000 years, dating back into the Middle Ages, fertility festivals were carried out on a regular basis among the Celts - festivals which have continued into modern times... in the guise of Easter. Thus, the rabbit, which is a sign of great fertility, is connected with this holiday, and the eggs (which, according to modern tradition, are delivered by the Easter Bunny) signify nature's rebirth, which we see taking place in spring, when the birds mate, nest, and raise their young, when new buds form on winter-bare trees, and when the brown grasses begin to turn green.
This is actually a global tradition in any agricultural country, signifying the beginning of a new cycle of growth. But, there's more to this cycle than what we may have thought about. Easter is more than a religious holiday; it's a time of renewal for humanity, as well, and this is what I wanted to share. We spend too much time living in a state of anger and hostility, and not enough time listening to others. Maybe this is the time for all of us to become new human beings.
No one is perfect. To believe otherwise is to delude ourselves. But, just because we're not perfect, that doesn't mean that we can't strive to be more compassionate, more loving, more human with each other.
Let me explain: When someone hurls insults at us, instead of getting angry and reacting, what if we were to shift our perspective just a little, and think about why that person is angry? When people call other people hurtful names, this is an indication that they're feeling angry and insecure, and lashing out this way is just how they protect themselves from being hurt. What if we shifted our perspective just a little, and considered that maybe something is going on in their lives, right now, that we know nothing about, and they're lashing out at everyone because they're unhappy? Or, what if we shifted our perspective just a little, and considered that maybe they're feeling invisible, ignored, unwanted, unloved, unheard, and so they're trying to get attention - even if that attention is negative? In other words, what if we stopped thinking about ourselves, and started considering what others might be going through before we react?
Easter is a celebration of renewal and rebirth. What would happen if we took that to a deeper level and strived to create positive changes within ourselves, rather than focusing on the shortcomings of others?
Every human being on this planet has value. We might not see it, but it's true. We are all connected to the great web of life - we're all part of it, each of us creating and holding together the strands that comprise this web. Instead of fighting each other and hurting each other, maybe we could try listening to and considering each other. Because, the decisions and the choices we make now affect the rest of our lives, so it would serve us well if we do the best we can to make sure we're making the right ones.