Nowadays, the battle between “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” has grown unexpectedly fierce.
Coming to the end of December, most of us have heard the debate surrounding the “proper” way to wish someone season’s greetings. Society seems more concerned with the particular words being used than the heartfelt meaning behind the gesture.
When it comes down to it, religion is a touchy, sensitive subject. Oftentimes, we avoid discussing it completely in fear of offending others. However, regardless of the religion in question, religious teachings hold universal, moral truths that parallel one another.
For example, the Golden Rule, which encourages people to treat others how they would like to be treated, is a tenet found in many modern religions, including Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism.
Incorporating these themes of universal kindness and empathy are what make religious teachings meaningful— not simply repeating words from a Holy book. In fact, this idea of kindness overcoming religious divide was beautifully demonstrated by the actions of one London restauranteur.
Shish Restaurant in Sidcup, London, is a Turkish restaurant owned by Muslim owners.
Established in 1993, the eatery specializes in Turkish meat dishes. But, if their website is any indication, the owners have a deepfelt appreciation for other cultures of the world. “We come from the tradition of where many cultures are embraced from different cuisines under the one of roof of Ottomans,” the restaurant website reads. However, instead of through food, the Muslim owners decided to express their appreciation for other cultures in a brand-new way.
Knowing that the holidays can be stressful, Shish’s owners came up with a selfless plan to help their lonely customers.
By sticking a poster to the restaurant door, the owners informed patrons that nobody would be eating alone on Christmas Day. In fact, homeless and elderly customers were invited to a holiday dinner on them! The festive, red-and-white announcement read:
“No one eats alone on Christmas Day. We are here to sit with you.
3-course meal for the homeless and elderly form 12-6PM.
Free of charge.”
Patrons attending the dinner would be treated to a starter of soup and Tzatziki (a Turkish yogurt and mint dip), their choice of chicken/vegetarian casserole or chicken shish for the main course, and a dessert of rice pudding. In an interview with Buzzfeed News, owner Hasan Masud said: “We’re just helping people… Lots of people stay home alone for Christmas. They don’t need to. They can come here and have some fun.”
When the restaurant uploaded their announcement, it immediately went viral.
It’s now been shared thousands of times, and comments on the photos read:
“How wonderful, Shish! To see such kindness and generosity is beautiful and a wonderful positive needing to be seen right now.”
“The generosity of spirit here is so very heartwarming. When I next visit London, I look forward to eating at your establishment.”
“There are some seriously good people in this world!”
It just goes to show that regardless of differences, kindness and love connect us all.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.
Follow your friends or be the first to join our group