Growing up, we didn’t trick or treat. Halloween was almost … vilified?… in the 90’s by the Christian community, though not in our house directly– being raised by introverts meant that we remained at home whether we wanted to or not. Right Mom? As a child, I understood that it wasn’t about worshipping the devil or harmful mischief; this was about candy! And what child doesn’t want a night filled with that?
Now, 25 years later, I have come to a realization. I missed out on not only years of sugar highs, but also a very important aspect of the trick-or-treat scene: community. Tonight as I walked the streets with my kids, temporarily known as Mr. McFeely and Mr. Rogers, I realized that this was such a prime opportunity for building a neighborhood with people in a culture and country that encourages us to be suspicious of everyone around us.
If I listen to the hum of politics, I hear quite clearly above the rhetoric a call to solidarity against the other. Them. Those people. You. Because if I search hard enough, I will find some topic on which we disagree. But don’t we have that backwards? Shouldn’t we be looking for what we agree on? Things we have in common?
Tonight I witnessed strangers, men and women, young and old, give my children almost five pounds of goodies. Why? Because they looked cute? Well, they did, but that is a given. Because it is tradition? I think there is more to it than that. I think people enjoy being apart of something outside of themselves, and today, sadly, that is a rare occasion indeed.
So, beware of Halloween, it might make you think.