Halloween, or Hallowe’en (a contraction of All Hallows’ Evening), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day (All Saints Day).
It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed (Wikipedia). Some people think that the holiday has Celtic origins, but others believe it has its origins in Christianity.
People celebrate Halloween by dressing up in various costumes, and the season is known for “trick or treating,” the act of visiting random homes asking for treats. If treats are not given, tricks are supposedly given. In years past, this might take the form of eggs thrown at the home, for example. All in all, Halloween is marketed as a time when people delight in being frightened.
Today, there are other, very real reasons for being scared. This fright, however, does not come with a fanciful, entertaining quality. Wide-ranging danger threatens the well-being of people on this planet. In recent weeks we have seen devastating earthquakes, floods, fires, mudslides, killer hurricanes and attendant conversations about climate change. We have also witnessed devastation on the socio-political scene.
According to observers, there is a very real chance of nuclear war with North Korea. If North Korea, the United States, or, heaven forbid, a rogue terrorist threat decides to kick it off, the whole planet will be impacted. It could ultimately be the end of life as we know it; it could blast us back to the Stone Age.
Closer to home we have escalating ruthlessness in the form of virulent law enforcement personnel, white supremacist thugs, urban gangsters, systemic political corruption, unemployment, and out-of-control economic violence, just to name a few threats. We are also faced with high rates of heart disease, strokes, cancer, and a bevy of other diseases that seem to be growing in frequency, like sarcoidosis, lupus, and more.
Considering the foregoing, we are indeed occupants of a global jungle not unlike that found in the lush forests of the world, where there is danger at every turn. Senior citizens are afraid to leave their homes for fear of becoming prey to some armed thug; children are afraid to play outside, and compromised food, along with pharmaceuticals, threatens the health of the population.
We are faced with danger at every turn.
The world’s people in general, and Black people in particular, are living in a real live ongoing Halloween-type saga. That is the bad news. The good news is that it is, for the most part, man-made, which means a change in behavior could alter the course of things.
Most of the struggles that we are facing on this little blue-green orb that we call home can be abated if only we could eschew greed and its consequent inhumanity.
Global leaders are ultimately responsible for the current human condition. The focus of much of the world’s resources is on militarism for the sake of gaining and maintaining power. Weapons development, especially in the United States, sucks up the lion’s share of resources. Pharmaceutical companies are more concerned with generating life-long customers than on curing people. And global industry moguls are playing roulette with the world’s health through genetically modified organism (GMO) foods. Financial motives are destroying the lungs of the world through deforestation in the Amazon.
These issues, and much, much more, are very real boogey-men that will remain with us long after this current Halloween season is past. The ghosts and goblins facing the world’s stage will not disappear after October 31. They will be with us until we collectively decide to move into a new direction that embraces life.
The Black community, if unity is considered seriously, could begin this change. The problems that we face today are spiritual in nature, just as are the origins of the Halloween holiday, and they require spiritual remedies. The idea held by materialists that “Might is right” won’t save us. In a universe governed by entropy, i.e., the move toward continual dissolution and disorganization, the only remedy that will really work is love/unity. Love trumps entropy! A Luta Continua!