Commentary: “It's your Christmas column, don't forget,” my wife says as I retreat into my cave under a deadline.
But I'd drafted a (truly profound!) column on sexual harassment; and I've already written one warmhearted column this month.
So . . . a Christmas wish-list:
For the New Mexico Democratic Party, a Congressional candidate who combines all the fine qualities of the current candidates, with perhaps just a bit more experience;
For the Republican Party, a mechanism that will bleep out the word “Trump” in all newscasts between now and November 6, 2018! And maybe wipes out the words “taxes,” “healthcare,” “Russia,” and “Jerusalem” – at least after the Christmas season's heavy use of that last one;
For Bob Endlich, a poster-sized enlargement of the photograph I saw this morning of a flooded mosque in Jakarta that used to be some distance from the sea;
For Randy Harris, an app that remindis us, every time we use an electronic device, “Can't we just talk to each other, folks?”;
For the guy who reappears on Facebook every few months, always under a new name, posting tediously obscene insults of progressives, women, and me, . . . a life; and
For KTAL-LP (101.5 FM) and KRWG, generous and sustained financial support!
The Christmas idea of accentuating giving, is obviously excellent. It's inspired a lot of good. It's also inspired great films, such as “It's a Wonderful Life!”
The words attributed to Jesus are well worth listening to all year. I'm sure He's unspeakably disappointed when people shout angry and exclusionary words at whole groups of other human beings in His name. I've read the Bible, and recall Jesus expressing love, not hatred; urging us to avoid prejudice and do the best we can by the less fortunate; and observing that it was awfully difficult for a rich man to reach the Kingdom of Heaven.
I particularly like the part about not judging, lest ye be judged. I remind myself of it often, though not often enough. Aside from the general idea that none of us is perfect (or could cast the first stone) and that we should look inward for faults, it reminds me that most everyone who does “evil” (or wrongly opposes us) has private crosses to bear, private wells of pain, which may explain though not justify their words and actions. That seems worth remembering, particularly as we all get more and more easily riled up over politics.
So, as long as Christmas sells cars, candy, and clothing, may I use it too?
Let's each take a deep breath next time we feel insulted by someone's remarks on Facebook or at the County Commission. Next time someone cuts me off at an intersection, can I just recall the stupid mistakes I've made that could have done harm? Even if we can't live the pure life of Jesus or the Buddha, let's at least remember that we're all connected in a troubled and vulnerable world that needs more understanding, not more hollering. Can we recognize that the guy outside the gas station asking for spare change is not having fun?
Being truly present, and mindful, is our best gift of the season, to ourselves and others.
But, now that the love of my life is out of the room, . . . “Bah, humbug!”