Saturday, January 28, 2006

Have we destroyed Christmas?

I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year."
- David Grayson

Now that Christmas 2005 is part of our history, let's take a brief look at the significance of the event.

Grayson says "We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year." If this is true, as I believe it is, the practice condemns those who follow it as hypocrites.

If the spirit of Christmas is one of goodwill, peace and cooperation, we should treasure these values all year, every day, or they mean nothing.

Each time you or I violate any of these as if they are not norms of our society, we act as role models for others who may not have the same moral compass settings as we do. Others follow our example because they don't know any different.

If these values of goodwill, peace and cooperation comprise fundamental parts of who we are as a people, then we must teach them, actively and repeatedly, to every child in school and we must practise them ourselves.

Only then will we find others joining us to make them integral parts of our culture.

When someone opens a Christmas gift from you, they don't expect to find a practical joke or an empty container. They expect to find something of value to them. When someone looks to you as a role model, they expect the same.

Don't disappoint them.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to show why good role models are critical for healthy societies.
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