Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Leave the Baggage Behind; Man Alive with Paul Stewart

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Leave the Baggage Behind; Man Alive with Paul Stewart

Article excerpt

IT IS amazing the amount of emphasis that people place on Christmas season. It is the season of celebration for numerous religious traditions, but in Australia it is perhaps most notably identified with the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ. For those who don't have this kind of religious faith, there is still a huge culture of focusing on the love and connection of family.

For most people, at its core, Christmas is a time for family. But what does "family" mean? Family for many people means love and acceptance, and this love and acceptance comes from significant people outside of them. Another way of describing this is external esteem or external validation.

Now, I am all for people having great expectations about their life, and believing and working towards creating beautiful experiences in their life. The challenge to this comes when it is family. If a person has an expectation about what family is, and the reality falls short, disappointment is sure to follow. …

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