My friends, as I sat in my den last night, filled with despair at the state of the world and our country, worried about the safety of my fellow citizens here and abroad, the environment, animals, and civil rights (I could go on and on) I wrote a post on Instagram. Some of you follow me there, so you most likely have read it already, but many of you don’t do IG, so I would like to share it here and maybe add a bit more, as it’s much easier to write on this blog than to peck out a long text on Instagram. I’m most likely preaching to the choir, but it’s all from my heart.
“It’s the Christmas season and I’m profoundly aware of how fortunate I am. We don’t have a lot of money. We freelance in the Arts, so you can do the math. There have been years where all we had was $20 to spend on a gift for each other. There have been years where we could splurge. But, through it all, even in the toughest of times, we have had a roof over our heads and food on the table. We’ve had heat. We’ve had clothing. We’ve never had to wonder if we would be deported. We’ve never had to deal with being seen as ‘other’ or wonder if we’d ever feel safe and accepted again. We’ve never been discriminated against because of the color of our skin. We’ve never had to fall asleep to the sound of gunfire all around us, or beg for help from someone, anyone, who might be listening, who might save us.
There is a lot going on in our world right now – here and abroad. There is injustice, fear, war – and the innocents are the victims. In this world of corporate greed and power-hungry-driven wars, where animals are going extinct because of Climate Change, where money and oil and power are often the bargaining chips used by politicians and where cries for help are ignored because we aren’t there and those cries come from people who live far away and have a different skin color or a different faith or they’re from animals who have no one to save them – please consider giving to those less fortunate, to organizations who are there to help, to causes you believe in.
I’ve been doing that this year. I confess I haven’t always done that because I didn’t think about it or was worried about money or was simply in my own little bubble at the time.
Do it. You’ll be doing so much good. You’ll feel better about yourself. You’ll expand and grow and you’ll be reaching out to your brothers and your sisters, human and animal. I just gave to an organization providing aid and food and shelter to those who have had to flee Aleppo. I’ve also given to other organizations and I plan to give to even more. We are all one. And I include animals in that statement.
This is without a doubt the longest Instagram caption I have ever written. But, then again, it’s the most important.”
I don’t need to add anything else. Give. Give to those charities and organizations you believe in. Give to protect civil rights, to protect your fellow man, to protect the environment, to protect animals, to protect those who are in the midst of wars not of their choosing, to those who are literally caught in the crossfire, to those selfless advocates for the homeless, the needy, the disenfranchised, the sick, the lonely, those in need of food and shelter – I could go on and on.
That’s the true meaning of Christmas. Whether you’re a Christian or practice another faith, are an agnostic or an atheist, surely the examples set by Jesus, Mother Theresa, Buddha, Jane Goodall, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, Oskar Schindler, Abraham Lincoln – anyone and everyone who has worked selflessly for the greater good – are what should guide us this holiday season.
Much love and Happy Thursday,