Christmas, Hannukkah and the Value of Stigma...
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Christmas, Hannukkah and the Value of Stigma…

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We do not water down any other religious or non-religious holiday, so why do so many like to water down Christmas?… There is a reason for the season and a reason for we call our holiday Christmas… Secularism and Political Correctness love to embrace feelings and will campaign the removal of any stigma that may cause anyone’s feelings to be hurt, for them at least. They mistakenly believe that isolating all this will stop anyone from feeling hurt. They attempt to ignore, devalue, and minimize those they believe are causing the hurt… In otherwords, someone is still going to get hurt! DOH! What good can become of that? If the Secularists and PC’s want a holiday that doesn’t offend anyone, then let them create their own holiday and let everyone else be — and they need to stop making their problem everyone else’s problem.

Stigma has a purpose, it marks our differnces and gives reason to celebrate our differences — not to minimize them! To minimize stigma so everyone can embrace the values of others only increases over-sensitivity, decreases our differences, increases discontent… And in every case where stigma has been reduced, you will find everyeone walking on eggshells least they hurt the feelings of any one person, except the person that doesn’t agree with them of course (then they prefer to take the gloves off)… There is definitely no joy to be found once everyone is on that band wagon.

Own what you are, who you are, least you lose all that you are…

Stigma has its purpose, differences should be embraced instead of minimized. To embrace the minimization of stigma means every difference needs to be minimized. This also means the one thing everyone wants from work, wants from their friends, wants from their family has to be minimiaed as well — who wants to be the first in line NOT to be recognized for their efforts? NOT to be recognized for making a difference? NOT to be given credit where credit is due?

Benjamin Franklin was questioned, in a letter, by Ezra Stiles of Yale, “Which religion should we honor?” Ezra Stiles was trying to bait Franklin as it was widely known that Benjamin was the least religious man of all our founding fathers. Ezra, hoping this would be a means to endorse his church over the 12 others in our colony nation, was hoping to entrap Franklin into endorsing Ezra’s own religion. Ezra, we hope, must have been pleasantly surprised when Franklin penned this response…

    “I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable Service we can render to him, is doing Good to his other Children. That the Soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with Justice in another Life respecting its Conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental Principles of all sound Religion, and I regard them as you do, in whatever Sect I meet with them. As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity”

Instead of reducing the stigma, the differences of his beliefs and that of Stiles, Benjamin Franklin choose to define God… and he defined God with 5 certainties..

  • God lives…
  • We will see God when we die…
  • God will judge us when He sees us…
  • We are to serve God…
  • Serving God is best done by serving our fellow-man…
Benjamin Franklin portrait   Ezra Stiles portrait

You don’t have to believe any of this, but given the blessings and benefits from observing and honoring a God — and the ramifications if you don’t — wouldn’t it be wiser to error on the side of God instead of against Him? These are universal principles that apply to any believer and non-believer alike… Doubt is just as strong as faith.

A lesser known part of Franklin’s letter to Stiles follows (picking up with some of the previous quote font context)…

    As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity: tho’ it is a Question I do not dogmatise upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble. I see no harm however in its being believed, if that Belief has the good Consequence as probably it has, of making his Doctrines more respected and better observed, especially as I do not perceive that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the Believers, in his Government of the World, with any particular Marks of his Displeasure. I shall only add respecting myself, that having experienced the Goodness of that Being, in conducting me prosperously thro’ a long Life, I have no doubt of its Continuance in the next, tho’ without the smallest Conceit of meriting such Goodness.

Most of us, including Benjamin, and the devil believe in God, but at least Benjamin embraced the stigma as opposed to minimizing it… Benjamin defined the root of our faith, celebrated our differences, and it worked in many of his means of unifying 13 states that had 13 different churches. Today, many are reversing this process and want us to to celebrate the root of our faith and define our differences — and it is dividing 50 states that have many churches…

Just some food for thought…

As for The HRIS World, we all wish everyone that are celebrating, a very Merry Christmas! And Happy Hannukah to our Jewish friends as well!


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Garrett O'Brien

Garrett O'Brien

Garrett is the Chairman of the Executive and Advisory Boards for
The HRIS World Research Network

With 20+ years in roles as a client executive sponsor, project manager as well as functional / technical lead, Garrett is sought for his expertise globally.

He has been involved in large-scale and complex implementations since 1991 and has recently moved his operations to be with his wife in Brazil.

Garrett has had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest talents in the industry, and constantly shares his experiences and knowledge through content and webinars.

He has managed somehow to be fluent in Portuguese, German, French and English along the way.

When not working, you will have to be adventurous to stay up with him as Garrett loves motorcycling, gunnery, boating, sailing, flying, and sports fishing.

Garrett’s current roles…

  • Publisher, editor, writer, and owner of 6 leading HRIS system and career blogs which are read by 50,000+ monthly visitors monthly in 90+ countries, 40%+ the audience being decision-makers in their organization (and about half of that being C-levels!).
  • Serves on the Advisory Board for the CoreHR, HRIS and Payroll Community
  • Is the CEO for CGServices USA, focusing on multi-provider, multi-line implementations for HRIS systems
  • Is a Council and Education Member of Gerson Lehrman Group Council, helping institutions of the world leaders meet, engage and manage experts across a wide range of sectors and disciplines.

In the news...
HR and the Cloud

Isabella Chan of HR Matters talks to Garrett O’Brien about the growth of cloud computing and building a technology strategy around HR.

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