My five year old nephew asked the other day, “Why is there an Easter bunny that brings eggs if only birds can lay eggs?”
It’s a great question – and one countless other children have asked.
Here are five reasons why the Easter Bunny – and not the Easter Birdie – brings those eggs around on Easter Sunday morning.
- Rabbits are a traditional symbol of spring because they are known for their fertility.
- Rabbits – and their ability to have so many offspring – encourage hope in a better, brighter future that is abundantly fruitful.
- An egg-laying rabbit speaks to people’s desire for something mystical and magical in their spring celebrations. It’s a little like magic when flowers break through the frozen ground and free people from the long, hard winter.
- Rabbits symbolize innocence and wonder, childlike qualities that correspond with the rebirth and rejuvenation people feel when spring returns.
- Like the lamb, rabbits are associated with religious sacrifice; Easter is a time when Christians celebrate the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus.
I’m not sure if any of these reasons will satisfy my inquisitive nephew, but it may satisfy the curiosity of some adults who have often pondered the same question.
One of the things that I just take for granted is that people are interested in learning about other people; that there is something worthwhile in stepping outside of your own cultural identity to try and “walk a mile” in someone else’s shoes.
I don’t question why this is important but – thanks to increasingly embarrassing rhetoric from pundits too ignorant to comprehend – I guess not everyone in America feels this way.
Here’s the thing: there’s a long history in this world that does not include America in the way we know it today. And it’s worth having a little humility when it comes to other people and cultures because we just might not have all the facts.
I refuse to let other Americans’ ignorance embarrass me. Just as I refuse to let other Christians’ ignorance embarrass me. The fundamental rule still applies – from Casablanca to my casa: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I would no more permit someone to burn a Koran than I would permit them to burn a Bible or a Torah in my presence. Because – as Jesus taught – it’s just not cool to disrespect others.
Here’s an article about vegetarianism and living in West Africa that I think gets to the heart of that idea without talking about religion or the pundit class. It’s just a simple story about appreciation, acceptance, and understanding – both yourself and others – and I think it’s a great read.
And to paraphrase the immortal words of “Hill Street Blues,” let’s be kind out there.
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