The True Spirit of Christmas

Last year, when I was at a low point in my life, Christmas was a candle in the darkness.

It evoked warm and cosy feelings that helped to lift my spirits and played and important part in my recovery, so I will always be grateful for that. This year, I am in a much better place, but I find myself turning to Christmas once again and have allowed it to nourish my soul.

Unfortunately, Christmas can be a very stressful time for a lot of people, thanks to all the financial pressure and commercialism that has hijacked the holiday. And also, it can be a rather rubbish holiday for those who have nobody to share it with.

But I find that there is great joy and wisdom to be garnered from the festive period. In fact, it can be a very spiritual time of year if you can tap into the true spirit of Christmas (the notions of generosity, sharing, goodwill etc). Imagine how horrible these cold, dark winter nights would be without the flashing lights, mulled wine and heart-warming Christmas carols. Surely anything that brings merriment and joy is a good thing, right?

Sadly, as I’m getting older, I do feel that some of the magic is fading (after all, I’m not a kid anymore). I have to be more proactive now if I am to get into the festive mood and there has seemed to be a noticeable lack of Christmas spirit in the air. For example, my mum usually comes alive at this time of year, but she now claims that “Christmas isn’t the same any more”.

My response to that is this: a day is what you make it. If you want something to be special, you’ve got to make it so. The reason I like Christmas so much is because it promotes values that should be prevalent EVERY DAY.

Why is it that generosity, sharing, goodwill and merriment are reserved only for Christmas? Why are these values not instilled in our culture ALL YEAR AROUND? Why is it that our planet is plagued by fear and destruction?

In 2016, I urge you to take the spirit of Christmas forward. Don’t leave it behind on Boxing Day. Don’t let the magic die. The world can be a better place if we choose to make it so. But this can only be achieved if we all stand together and unite.

 

 

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Watching TV to avoid silence

Someone said to me today: “Why are you sat there without the TV ON?”

I found this interesting because it seems to be the natural reaction of so many people to turn on the TV if the room is quiet.

TV is very often used as background noise, but why? I suspect that it provides comfort, a connection to the outside world, something to fill the deadly silence. Because many people seem to be uncomfortable with silence, as it leaves them alone with their chattering minds.

If only people knew how sacred silence could be. If only people were brave enough to delve deep into themselves and resolve the issues that they have suppressed. But as long as the TV stays on in the background, as long as people find ways to distract themselves, then this may not happen.

Perhaps it is people’s thinking in this modern age that you do not have a functioning home unless the television is on. Perhaps watching television is now just as natural as breathing, along with shopping in a great big warehouse and taking selfies on your mobile phone. But does this technology enhance our human experience or take away from it? I suppose it depends on how these devices are used, but everyone will have a different answer to that question.

How does technology affect your life? Do you turn on the television just for background noise? Do you find yourself avoiding silence at all costs?

 

What if the terrorists were in our country?

If a terrorist group sprang up in Britain and other countries decided to bomb us, blasting apart our cities and killing the likes of me and you, we would think it was inhumane. So why is it okay for a bunch of bigwigs in an old building by the Thames to condemn innocent people? Why was there not a public vote on such a matter?

Yes.. it appears that the government has voted in favour of military action against IS, which will involve dropping bombs on Syria without any real intel as to where the terrorists might be based, so many innocent civilians will end up getting killed. David Cameron claims that the bombing will “make Britain safer”, but in my opinion, it will just make it more likely that terrorists will retaliate with attacks on our country, just like they did with France when the French got involved.

Amazingly, the airstrikes started WITHIN AN HOUR of the decision being made, which meant that aircraft and troops were on standby, poised for the green light to cause destruction. One of the first places they targeted was an oil field (hmm, I wonder why…)

I am just tired, as I am sure a lot of people are, with theĀ  endless narrative of death and destruction spouted by the media. Every time you turn on the news, it’s talking about mass shootings and crime and other things that cause us to live in fear. I actively avoid the news for this reason, as it is not representative of our society as a whole – there is so much good in the world, but it is quite easy to think otherwise.

Thankfully, an increasing amount of people seem to be waking up and know in their hearts that the system is a mess. We know we are constantly being lied to and trampled on while governments pursue their own interests (i.e. profit and power). For example, they are justifying twelve billion pounds of welfare cuts by saying the country is in debt and yet they always manage to find the money to go to war – it’s all a massive lie!

Alas, there is nothing we can do about this unless we come together and create a new world. The only way to fight darkness is with light – none of this “eye for an eye” retaliation crap – and I know that many others feel this way too. With pacifists on the rise, there is hope for a better future, but they say that the night is darkest before the dawn.

In the meantime, we cannot live in fear. I mean my mum has just cancelled her holiday to Greece for God’s sake, because she is that scared of being blown to pieces by a terrorist. We cannot let fear govern us. We must carry on with our lives and reach out to one another, for it is unity that we need in such times. Fear and distrust will get us nowhere, so ignore the media’s prejudice against Muslims, for the vast majority of them are not terrorists and they are suffering more than anyone else at the minute, especially in the lands occupied by Islamic State.

Islamic State.. even the name is misleading. But there has been talk of referring to the group as Daesh from now, as to avoid misrepresenting Muslims, which I think would be a very good move indeed.

Peace and love to you all. May we stand united in such troubled times and help to make the world a better place.