This year Christmas is different for many parents. We gather our loved ones a little closer and try a little harder to get along after the tragedies of Connecticut and others around the world. Thanksgiving begins a time of celebrating life, family and friends, and Christmas is a major part of that celebration. I’m OK with stores advertising and convincing us to give gifts to family and friends. It’s good that someone reminds us that we need to appreciate the people in our lives! Of course there are many ways to celebrate people, but gift giving is one that doesn’t have to be super personal and yet gives us a chance to show that we care. Victor Hugo said
“Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man.”
What happened in CT, and other tragedies that happen around the world like child slavery, abuse, genocide and murder, can’t be fully solved by changing gun or other laws. That’s not the whole answer, although it is part of the answer. The only way we can avoid tragedies like this is by being more responsible people. It’s up to each and every one of us to make more responsible decisions about the people in our lives, our reactions to the things that happen in our lives, and how we treat the world. The only way the world can be fixed is if we believe that we’re bringers of hope, not spreaders of hate.
I can’t tell you how to live your life. What I can do is encourage you to think about the world you want to live in. Do you want your kids to enjoy safely playing on the street or in the backyard with their friends? Do you want your kids worried about coming home to mom and dad fighting? Do you want people to treat you with respect and care? Do you want nature devastated by pollution and destructive habits? I don’t know about you but I want to live, and raise my children, in a world where hope and love are more common than hate and dread. The only way that can happen is if each of us choose to be responsible for our actions and the impact we have in the world.
In this season I pray that you’ll share hope with someone else. When you share Christmas joy and peace with someone you know, you’re beginning the charge to spread the hope so desperately needed around the world.