Christmas 2006

Christmas is just about here, then the ramp up for New Year’s Eve
and the post-holiday recovery. I am looking at the Christmas cards
we’ve received and thinking about what to say that hasn’t been said a
hundred ways already at this time of year. “Peace on Earth, Goodwill
toward Men” seems to pretty much capture the point of Christ’s message,
but then it also captures the message of Mohammed, Buddha, a bunch of
Hindu Gurus, most Jews, Zoroaster, and just about everyone I know. So
why is there so little peace and not a lot of goodwill?

It
is one of those ironies (or paradoxes?)—just like when everyone says
they believe in ‘straight talk’, why is there so much bullshit? Maybe
it is a habit, or maybe something else is going on.

I think the Christmas message is lost because we are culturally
blind to the possibility we are. We are trapped in our historical
stories and fears, trapped inside what we imagine is realistic and
doable. Rather than accepting responsibility for the “reality” that we
have created and having our actions express our vision of a world that
works for everyone—peace on earth and goodwill toward all men and
women—we are resigned that we can’t make a difference. We’ve learned to
cope with the way things are, rather than committing ourselves to
transforming the human condition and creating what is possible. If
there is any meaning left to Christmas, it is to bring about this
universally desired transformation of the human condition of fear and
isolation that divides us and perpetuates suffering around the world.

Whatever you are doing on Monday—whether celebrating the religious
significance of Christmas, being with family and friends, just enjoying
a day off or participating in some sort of service—take a moment to
think about what is possible for yourself, for your community and for
the world. And then do something, no matter how small it may seem, to
bring that possibility into reality. When a critical mass of
individuals are taking actions that are aligned with a vision of ‘peace
and goodwill’, then we will, perhaps for the first time, experience and
practice what all of the world’s spiritual masters have been promising.
__________

I want to thank all my friends and family for their love and support
this year, for their encouraging my daily blogging and for sharing my
vision of growing older INTO a culture in which the end of life is as
rich and filled with possibility as the beginning. I want to especially
thank Shae Hadden for her commitment to this project. Serene Ambition
is going to take a short holiday and we’ll be back with new postings on
the 28th. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and most loving holiday
season.

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