December 09, 2008

A Christmas message

By now, most of you out there who celebrate it and probably anyone who occasionally steps out their front door will have noticed that Christmas is coming up. As I write this it becomes more clear to me than ever that you who read this and I myself writing this belong to a very elect group of people. After all we are sitting in a heated room, wearing enough clothes, are well-fed and own or at least use a personal computer which in my case cost more than the sum most people on this earth could use to survive a whole year (or more).

Anyway, with shops and streets decorated in my city, chilly weather outside and in some parts even snow, Germans look forward to their vacation and people ask each other whether they have all their presents together yet. Some feel obliged to give to everyone, others give few presents. We all get stressed and think about how we don't like to be stressed by all this stuff that comes up during the last days before Christmas. Do you have your presents ready? I don't. I trust that the people around me know of my love for them without me handing them some new CD or book or scarf. They should know because I try to tell them and convey them that they are more important to me than all this stuff. I think that is what we all really want to feel when we receive a present!

I might still give some presents to my family, but more important to me is thinking about the just as x-masy message of giving to people who hardly notice it's Christmas at all because nothing in their world changes during that time.

Please take a moment and think about it. Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) once said:
"I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means—except by getting off his back."

This is not supposed to be a beautiful post, but it should make us all thoughtful once again. Yet beautiful it can be in the way that it is in our power to increase the amount of happiness in the world not by buying more, but by loving more. I love you all! Be happy and don't forget to smile in the hustle and bustle of the malls.

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