Political correctness should be used to avoid racial slurs and stereotypes, but now it seems to only be preached to stop someone from being offended by another’s viewpoint or belief in order to satisfy an askew perception of tolerance.
Society also preaches the importance of becoming cultured, establishing peace and understanding between social groups with differing traditions and customs, but what political correctness has become is in direct conflict with becoming cultured.
At this time of year there are several holidays that are celebrated by many different peoples across various belief systems. I’ll be focusing mainly on Christmas.
When I say “Merry Christmas” to someone, is it not an attempt to shove my beliefs down their throats, to ostracize them, or make them feel inferior as many uninformed people assume. I say “Merry Christmas” because I am celebrating the birth of Christ (even though it is not his actual birthday, it is when the majority of the world celebrates it), and what that means to me. A gift from God for His children on earth, to help them through their lives, to be given the opportunity to repent, change for the better, and be forgiven of sins, be resurrected, and live eternally with God and our families, because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I cannot express into words how grateful I am for such an individual and His divine sacrifice. I am filled with joy because of the Savior. I have been helped throughout my life because of Him.
And because I love you, dear reader, I want to share my feelings of joy and peace by saying two simple words, “Merry Christmas”. When I say those words, in them is carried every feeling of gratefulness, love, service, and appreciation that I can muster. It is me opening myself up to you, exposing something very dear to my heart, because I love you and want to share those feelings with you. I know you may not be a Christian, you may not celebrate Christmas, and you may not believe in God at all, but I am trying to give a part of myself to you so that we might better understand, appreciate, and care for one another.
I believe those feelings of joy, kindness, and service I have are shared by those who celebrate Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, or whatever holiday or tradition they may have, and so when they tell me Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa, am I offended? No. I am grateful that someone who is of a different belief system than my own would look at me and love me so much as to share something so near and dear to their heart.
Here’s a thought experiment: You’re in to acting, dance, and theatre life, and you’ve been working and developing those talents for years. It’s changed you and impacted many life decisions, from where to go to school, what job you’ll have, to where you will live. Now, you’re performing on Broadway, the biggest show of your career and you want your family and friends to be there.
All expenses are paid should they need to travel.
The catch is most of them aren’t big fans of theatre. Dancing and musicals aren’t their cup of tea.
You invite them anyway, because you want to share what you have with them, even though they have little to no interest in doing what you’re doing.
Would your family and friends be offended at the invitation? Would they react poorly and refuse in the most untactful way possible? Most likely not. Most likely they would be grateful the invitation was even extended to them.
It’s not always about the belief; it’s about the people and what they’re trying to do. It’s about coming together and being unified.
If you take the “political correctness” route and advocate only saying “happy holidays” and shunning or yelling at anyone who says “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Kwanzaa” or “Happy Hanukkah”, then you are shunning culture. You are stifling culture, individuals, beliefs, and you are destroying any progress you have made toward tolerance and understanding.
Different cultures and those of different belief systems won’t want to share any differing opinion from “society” because in the past, society has shunned them when they tried to share what’s important to them.
Do not reject a gift from someone who cares enough about you to share what is very important to them. Do not be the family member who rejects a sibling or spouse for inviting you to their musical on Broadway.
Political correctness is not a substitute for tolerance, understanding, and love.