HUMANIST CORNER December 2019
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invisible summer.”
“Winter is on my head, but eternal Spring is in my heart.” Victor Hugo
Two famous Frenchmen on the topic of Winter Solstice. Bell’s Dad was such a fan of Victor Hugo he named his only son after him. As did we. Yes, Winter Solstice is here again, marking the mythical births of gods, rulers, and the rising of life-giving light. Well needed brightening in such times of turmoil, given the power to save or destroy us depending on how we choose to use the 24/7 it bestowed on each us!
We aurely live in times of paradox where Dicken’s Cratchitts are burdened in debt, yet perhaps without work or means for re-payment. Old Scrooge would delight in growing disparities between haves and have nots. So similar to the “Gilded Age” of Dicken’s own times.
Yet still alive are the warm and gentle traditions of gifts and sharing, pause and reflection. Softening thoughts, almost immune to the marketeer’s babble of over-abundance and greed those messages conceal. Garages, attics, and house corners filled to over-flowing!
Clearly the true meaning of the season resides in giving of oneself to the greater good. Re-birth sought in the gathering of family and loved ones under our own life giving star itself! Hopes and dreams often made possible by a technology that may be the ultimate Yuletide tool that can either save us or divide us. Children should gaze to the heavens for hope not weaponry-
Of course this time is especially for them. The children. The technology of my own childhood was wrapped in a radio given to me by Grandpa. This instrument brought me such thrills as “The Lone Ranger”, “Inner Sanctum”, or chuckling at the antics of “Fibber Magee and Molly.” My warmest thoughts to you if you’ve old enough to share such childhood memories!
This Christmas the kids are asking for something really, really special., Something that may even be beyond our ability to grant them. Even if delivered by driverless Walmart trucks. We’re beseeched by the children, this holiday time and those that follow, for that most precious gift of all.
Theirs and ours. In fact, they fill the streets constantly crying out in our cities and towns, for us to make this difficult but essential offering. Less being more. Shrink the gifts under the tree. Plant more trees! They want, no demand, we give more of ourselves. More thought, more action that truly lasts throughout the year. They want no less than Christmas each wonderful day!
One need look no further than this week’s “Time” magazine cover to witness their pleading at this spiritual time of the year. A sixteen-year-old Swede’s message is being echoed across borders. Doesn’t our own Good Book remind us “The children shall lead them”?
Of course, unlike little Greta we’ll not get the opportunity to stand before congress and the world’s nations to voice our dissatisfaction. Champion our planet. Still in this season of promises and pledges can’t we, each in our own way, affirm this time of peril to our human family? If nothing more than at least taking the children seriously at this giving time of the year. In the returning light, do what little may be in our power to restore health to ourselves, our planet and its creatures. Not an expensive present -but a truly vital one.
Wishing a happy Solstice to all…
HUMANIST CORNER December 2019