This has been a year of many changes. It has been a year with new faces in politics and entertainment and for many people new relationships and new traditions. As we are in this holiday season, I see many people wanting to "get into the season" and help others. I hear many people say that this is the time of the year when we should be happy and helpful to others. Although, I love the sentiment, why do we not want Peace on Earth Goodwill to All the whole year through?
I have listened to a few young people who call their friends by what I would call derogatory names. "It's OK," they say. "We say that because we like each other." When did it become OK to call other people names? We have heard more people in the entertainment field admit to sexual harassment (and more) and sometimes even defending themselves by saying that this kind of behavior was condoned because it was expected of men and even sometimes women. Our own president recently "tweeted" derogatory statements about a member of congress. Why is society OK with this type of behavior most of the year? Why are we full of Peace on Earth only during the Holiday Season?
I know that giving behavior still exists. I know that there are loving, caring people in our society. I know that many people still want their children to learn positive values of decency and love towards one another. How do I know? I watch and I listen. This is what I have seen and heard.
"I want my children to learn that Christmas is not just about getting gifts but giving to others." Instead of just saying this, a young mother struggling to pay her own bills took her elementary age school children to the store and bought gifts for children from a giving Christmas tree. Another family who know how to use coupons at the grocery store decided that although they live paycheck to paycheck, they have more than enough time. So they volunteered to serve meals at a soup kitchen. Another father who doesn't see his own children full time took his children during his time to volunteer to wrap Christmas gifts for needy families. Peace on Earth Goodwill to All.
"We have a family in our school that just lost a parent. Do you know anyone that can help?" All it takes is a question to call others into action. Not only did a group of friends agree to help but they got others to donate as well and were able to help a family receive much of what they needed for their house and each other - bed sheets, pillow, clothes and warm jackets. Peace on Earth Goodwill to All.
"We need help on Christmas Eve services. We don't have enough volunteers." No problem. Suddenly there were more than enough people to help out. Not only did they volunteer for that day, but they volunteered to help on other Sundays as well. Peace on Earth Goodwill to All."
"Grandma, my friend at school doesn't have anyone to help him read at home. Could you go help him? I can share you." That grandmother went to her grandson's school and began to volunteer to help the other children read. Peace on Earth Goodwill to All.
This has been a year of changes. A year of disappointments and sometimes a year of name calling and bigotry. However, if we look and if we listen Peace on Earth Goodwill to All is here. It is alive in our society and our world. Let's listen for the good and uplift the caring. Let's make sure that we carry it throughout the year - not just during the Holiday Season.