Well, it’s the holidays once more, and we are surrounded by music, food and shopping. It’s supposed to be one of the happiest times of year, and this year for me is one of the happiest holiday seasons in a while. I have a wonderful family, including a new grandson, almost 2 months old, wonderful friends, a warm home. What more could I ask for? I want for nothing. Yet with all the suffering in the world, and right here in the Bay Area, I can’t help feeling some sadness.
I’m sad for those living on the streets, many of whom suffer from mental illness. I’m sad for those that have nothing more to do than hate other people who don’t share the same beliefs or lifestyle. I’m sad for the elderly with no one to talk to, and no one to spend a holiday with. The kids, who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in foster care. Sometimes the people who take them in are caring, sometimes they’re not. The list could go on and on. What are we to do?
I love the book The Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. The main character, Scrooge, seems to be irredeemingly nasty. As you probably know, he has three ghostly visitations, which help him see, who he once was, and who he could be if he chose to change his ways. He does change his ways, and the rest of his life is happy, and he becomes well-loved by all who know him.
I don’t propose that we all need to go through that kind of experience to change our ways, but we do need to stop and think about how we are living our lives. Are we being kind to those around us? Are we trying to do something, even a little something, to make the place where we live, a bit happier, and safer for all of us? I don’t know enough about the world, and it’s affairs. but I can do something for those around me. I try to say hello to those around me, show respect to those strangers who may make me uncomfortable, but I don’t want to ignore them and make them feel invisible. I give to charities and causes that I hope will make a difference in someone’s life. It’s not a lot, but it’s the best I can do.
What can you do? Even a little smile to someone on the street may make their day. A donation to help those in need can mean a lot. A little of your time for a cause you support. Anything you do helps. It won’t change the world, but it might make you happier too. Then you can feel free to sing your own song of holiday cheer.