Christmas

Make a resolution to enjoy the holidays. A lot of people complain about the consumerism, the false sense of obligation, the forced camaraderie and the need to be “whatever”.   And, you know, they are right. Nevertheless, individually, we can be sincere, develop meaning, create understanding, express solidarity and just be friendly, kind and sympathetic without being maudlin or without being pretentious.

Celebrate with family, with loved ones, with friends and if you have none of these, then celebrate with others by giving of yourself and not worrying about perceptions and consequences.

Those of us who are in the United States, we have to recognize the materiality and wealth existent here. No doubt, we have certain advantages because of the wealth, but being cognizant of this fact, there is no need for pride and pomp. Those of us in Mexico and Brazil and other parts of the world know that our relative lack of material wealth actually brings us closer together. Our circumstances almost force an extended network of interdependence, which, in the end, favors our recognition of others and our own humanity. The greater unpredictability of life in the lesser-developed world makes us rely more on God and each other with somewhat greater sincerity.

Even as we turn the last page of the 2014 calendar, we look to an opportunity for renewal, hope, optimism and to facing challenges and obstacles as we begin a new story or continue a storyline already in progress but not yet quite finished. We can write new pages in our lives and the Christmas period. The ongoing and renewed chances of family, friend and person-to-person contact provide inspiration and a new start.

Think about the message you are sending. What do others read, feel and see in your presence? Think about what is really meaningful and what you want to project. Think about where you want to go from here. Take into account the people that you have in your journey and those you want to include as significant parts of your narrative. Reach out and make the effort who you are and who you want to be. Do it with your feelings, your words, your art, your music and the look on your face.

Birth, a new start, new settings, new gifts, new opportunities, renewed efforts and ongoing experiences and traditions come together nicely at this time of year. Make the most of these even if it takes some effort on your part.

Happy and healthy days, reasonable expectations, fulfilled hopes, new challenges and enhanced solidarity are my wishes for the season.

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