“At a time when the world seems to be spinnin’
hopelessly out of control /
There’s deceivers and believers and old in-betweeners,
that seem to have no place to go.” – Hands on the Wheel by Willie Nelson Watch on YouTube
And John Lennon’s lyrics filled my heart today as I gazed out the restaurant window to see the hectic holiday scene outside … cars racing about parking lots, people in hurried motion and trains going on through.
And so, this is Christmas, and what have you done? Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon
I was resigned to turn away from all this ‘sound and fury’, when I noticed some solitary maple trees, right in front of me. Void of leaves now, they were impressive in their calm, unchanging nature … like silent observers against the busy background. For me, the missing leaves are our memories lost. What will we remember of our life many years from now? I believe it will be the faces of people who really made a difference – the laughter, the love, the patience of the helpers – those who stood tall in the face of confusion and hate.
“No opinion is worth burning your neighbor for.” – Voltaire
So, what does it mean when your opinions are so estranged from everyone else? On a recent CBC radio poll, it was 50/50 – thumbs up or thumbs down – on whether or not this Christmas would still mean something this year. This left me confused.
Yes, it’s true we still are dealing with COVID-19 and it’s variants like last year, but if you’re living in a first-world country, being overwhelmed by fear doesn’t apply to you. With over 80% of the general population being up to tripled vaccinated, we’re in a much better position to shield ourselves. Most third-world countries are lucky to even have 8% of their population vaccinated.
“Opinions have caused more ills than the plague or earthquakes on this little globe of ours.” – Voltaire
But, here at home, my son told us that one of his good friends – with a family of four kids to support – left his job over his refusal to be vaccinated; and wouldn’t agree to at least being tested for the virus.
What does that mean? Obviously, he feels that his opinion is right and everyone else – at least the vast majority of citizens – are wrong. To argue who’s right or wrong is pointless. It’s like saying my red gun of arguments is better than your green gun of the same. Yet, here we are, still holding guns – in a season of peace! Why not empathize with real fears?
A friend lost all hope when hospitalized due to a series of strokes, dying shortly afterwards. Mentally, he had also become obsessed with the pandemic – wasting the good that life had to offer fretting about the bad.
“Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” – Voltaire
We should all be dancing in the streets with the comfort of the Christmas spirit upon us. However, the truth is for many of us, we worry about things as if everything equally matters. It doesn’t. Is there anyone who can’t recount some joy at Christmas and those moments of joy that remain? Is there any reason not to expect another miracle again this year? Does it not start and end in a spirit of caring for each other?
As Lennon concluded, “I hope someday you’ll join us / and the world will live as one” Watch on YouTube
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Happy, hopeful holidays!