I read today that the average American plans on spending more money buying gifts this holiday season than last year. And at first glance, that would look like a good thing, right? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the downside to what at first might look statistically like signs of a stronger economy and better financial news, is that they also will be donating less money to ministries and charities than they did last year.
I don’t want to have to dig out my soap box and start spouting the words of the elders and their wisdom about the true meaning of the holiday. But let us take just a moment out of our chaotic schedules to see what is clearly before us. Not only can we see the individual impact of the constant commercialism of this time of year, but we now come face to face with the societal impact.
This year saw tremendous devastation in our own country with tornadoes and storms as well as devastation in other parts of the globe. There are hurting, hungry people, elderly as well as children all over the world who need help and some of the basics just to survive; more than ever before, and yet there are fewer people giving of themselves to help others. Fewer of us are willing to reach out and share our fortune with our fellow human being than ever before.
So you tell me. What does that statement say about our sense of humanity and willingness to experience the real message behind Christmas?
I also read on Mother Jones two days ago that at least 194 children (13 years of age or lower) have been shot and killed since the tragic shooting in the school in Newton, Connecticut last year.
Sadly, I think the numbers speak for themselves. Decreases in charity and caring for each other, increases in more self-directed spending and hurting each other…what happened to peace on earth and good will to man?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone, (we can start with each person reading this) chooses to do all they can to make sure to personally re-commit themselves to demonstrating the true meaning of the holiday; if we took it on ourselves to be a bit more patient, a bit more tolerant, a bit more generous, caring, loving and forgiving?
The lyrics of a song I learned a long time ago comes to mind. “Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let it Begin with Me.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!