What if Every Major Religious Holiday Were a National Holiday?

There were a few articles (, , and ) in The Economist over the last few issues that got me thinking about religion. And not any one particular religion — all of them — and how they might be very much interrelated. At the same time, I often think about the growing . It seems the ways of balance has completely gone out the window.

There are lots of different explanations as to why people continue to overwork themselves. One from this claims that Americans mistake overwork for good work. Meaning, they think that if they work harder (they’ll be working better). by way of a calculator that lets you visually see how much time you’re spending on a variety of activities, which include: work, sleep, leisure, chores, meals, commute, etc.

Another contribution to the nature of overworking is the amount of holidays that people are ‘allowed’ to take. In some countries, it’s pretty to have 6, 7, or 8 weeks as holidays. We could also say the workweek itself is a pressure to work harder. In France, they have a . There’s also the idea that you need to work longer hours in order to .

Circling back to my initial point about religion: there are certain days in countries that are designated as . In the US, for instance, Easter and Christmas are holidays for which it is illegal to mandate that someone needs to be at work. According to , there are an assortment of religions represented across the United States.

So, my “big” idea: make all the major religious holidays national holidays.

When I say national holiday, I mean that these are days that are mandatory days off for businesses. I realize that this kind of idea would take an enormous amount of planning, that there would need to be legislation passed, that we’d need to define “major religious holidays,” and all that jazz, but just think about it (abstractly) for a moment.

Think about the extra days off to spend with family. Think about the prospect of religious acceptance for the younger generations. Instead of just “taking the day off and ,” parents could spend the day with their kids explaining to them what the major holiday means to that religion. Or, if there were no kids, the adults could take the day to learn about the culture and religion for the holiday. This could definitely foster a greater sense of compassion and empathy between people of different faiths.

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3 responses to “What if Every Major Religious Holiday Were a National Holiday?

  1. Religious holiday means to celebrate that religious day. I think it is all about gathering of family and make fun. moowar.com

  2. Pingback: No-Vacation Nation: What Kind of Balance Do You Want? | Jeremiah Stanghini

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