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SKEPTOID BLOG:

Skeptic's Holiday

by Holly Knapp

December 23, 2012

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Donate The shortest day of the year has passed. Day by day the portion of this planet which we consider to be the northern hemisphere will experience a gradiational increase of sunlight ration per day, at least until we hit the other side of the calendar. From there we'll be at maximum light per day, and we'll again begin increasing the portion of dark.

Meanwhile, the time and date tracking method which the majority of us have collectively agreed to use indicates the year we call 2012 must soon pass. This year was labeled 2012 in part because we suppose it has been 2012 years since the birth of a man revered by some as a god and some as an allegory was born. That we largely consider the time which has passed since this birth as two bundles of one thousand years each is likely due to the truth that the mammal base skeletal structure comes with 5 digits per limb, and we human mammals have 2 limbs we use for counting. Summing, multiplying, and dividing in quantities of 10 suits us well.

In one week this period of time, the year, pinned in length by the time it takes earth to travel our sun, will lapse to 2013. This will commemorate two thousand and thirteen such travellings since the aforementioned birth. We assume that it probably has not actually been this number (2013), but together, society agrees to count it thus.

As the lapse to 2013 occurs, many of us will compile a list of items which we judge ourselves to need improvement on. We'll do this with a mixed sense of guilt, pride, and hope. We'll largely abandon these goals, but the notions which originally drove them will remain and shape our choices and actions throughout the remainder of the 2013th journey of earth round the sun.

As a skeptic, to me, much of this seem to be factors of random chance. The way the earth sits in the cosmos, the way our species grew to thrive on the planet, the way we collectively have chosen to calculate and label where we are in time and space; all of this could easily have been something different, or nothing. Be this as it may, I enjoy this cycle of seasons, emotions, and tradition. I find the combination of the familiar and random interesting and beautiful. And I am glad for this time of celebration, commemoration, rekindling of human love, and not least of all, rest.

Here's hoping that peace will find each of us. For myself, I'm going to gather with family, friends, and maybe some strangers to lift a toast to all that makes us human and to what within that makes us good. I will spend some more time thinking about who we are, how we got here, and how we can bring more love and happiness to this life.

by Holly Knapp

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