It is Christmas Eve and I am at home. Just a day late. A day wasted because of United Airlines inefficiency combined with their stupid policy of overbooking. A day of last minute Christmas shopping that will go undone because...well, United will catch my wrath later in the week.
But this is Christmas Eve, a magical day I usually spend at the mall, even if my shopping is done, because I love the hustle and bustle (when I am in my own city and not running like O. J. Simpson through the airport...oh, there I go again. Sorry. And I guess the O. J. reference is no longer a good one).
Since not all who read this see The Western Tribune, I am posting my Christmas column. After Christmas, look forward to my response to the right wing Bush lovers who wrote letters to The Tribune. I will post the letters here so you will know what we have to put up with here in Bessemer.
********The Western Tribune Column**********
During this last week before Christmas it is easy to forget what the message of Christmas is, with last minute shopping and festive parties to attend.
Peace on earth. Good will toward men (and presumably women, as well).
There are many for whom this message has little meaning, or for whom the message has been overshadowed by the circumstances they are in.
After the kids have unwrapped their presents and the ribbons and paper have been collected and thrown away, but before you sit down to that big dinner with the family, take time to think about the soldier standing alone in the desert in Iraq, away from his or her family, on watch with only a rifle to keep as company on Christmas day.
Think about the young mother in Zimbabwe, whose life expectancy is around 30, lying in a makeshift hospital bed, who will die on Christmas day from AIDS, leaving an orphaned daughter whose father has already died.
And think about the teenage boy in Bessemer who on Christmas day will make a decision to try crack cocaine for the first time, and whose life will be forever changed.
Where is the message of Christmas, peace and good will, for these three people and others who face loneliness and despair and hardships that few who are reading this can imagine?
I can not begin to answer for them, but for me, the message of peace and good will comes without politics or partisanship.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
St. Francis of Assisi
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Declaration of Independence
“If we are to reach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with children.”
“If we really want peace in the world, let us begin by loving one another in our own families.”
“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
“I have a dream that one day…we will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Peace on earth. Goodwill to all.”
The Angel of Bethlehem