Well, another year is coming to a close with festive Holidays being celebrated like Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa. All of these celebrations and the festivities that accompany them emphasize peace, good will, family and a sense of healing. This last facet is so much needed in our day and age. Given the problems that the world is suffering from like wars, famine, global warming effects, political upheavals, mid-East crises, devastating storms, pestilence, senseless mass killings, sexual predators and a general sense of ill-at-ease which grips the whole world not knowing what catastrophe will occur next.
Despite the unbelievable advances that the world society has made technologically so as to be able to communicate throughout the world at the touch of a few buttons, we still cannot talk with one another in a manner so as to agree on how to achieve world peace without another war being started. Innocent children are being sacrificed at the hands of their adult counterparts’ enemies as well as being used as sexual objects by those with malicious pleasure as their motive. Women are stoned, shot at or jailed for speaking against their governments or not dressing according to the tenets of their religious beliefs.
And so, how can we celebrate those festive Holidays with all of this going on? There is one element that I did not mention in the beginning of this editorial comment and that is the issue of hope. These occasions help us to pause in thanks for what we have but also, probably without our realizing it, to attune ourselves to the sense of hope that the future will bring some solutions to these horrid problems. The old saying “hope rings eternal” has a great deal of meaning during these very difficult times. Without a sense of hope, all attempts at resolving the problems of the world would cease in deference to accepting the status quo while living in a constant state of fear and resignation.
In most of us, there is a voice … albeit small … that cries out for a sense of reason and justice to prevail. For some, though, the pervasive sense of anger and hatred for what has happened in the past motivates a constant splurge negativity which more captures headlines in the media than those working toward right and reason. Although those embedded in doomsday declarations may lose themselves in their dire proclamations, some may come to realize that their purpose is futile for, when all is said and done, the human spirit tends to prevail, although not without scars.
Thus, the celebrations of our sense of hope still prevail despite all of the obstacles that would otherwise dictate that its flame should die once and for all. at this juncture, I am reminded of that same spirit that encompassed a nation … Great Britain … during the Nazi attempts at weakening their sense of resolve realizing that the Brits were outnumbered and outmaneuvered. Their leader at the time, Winston Churchill, is known for the many sayings that he used to encourage his people not to lose their faith in themselves. Some of my favorites are: “If you are going to go through hell, keep going.” “The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong.” “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.”
This time of year and the significance of the holidays that fall during this time are significant pauses that allow us to reexamine our priorities and value systems. Beyond the gift giving and the hustle-bustle of parties and such, there is a time for reflection that accompanies our celebrations. It is for this reason, perhaps, that the song was written “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
(23 January 2013)
Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at www.charlesmbonasera.com.