Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ringing in a New Year!

While I realize that a large part of the world has already rung in 2016, I want to take this opportunity wish everyone a very happy 2016!

My new year's wishes for the world is that 2016 brings about a more accepting, inclusive, compassionate,safe, loving and peaceful society than we have seen this past year.

  • May every refugee find a safe country to call home and rebuild their lives.  
  • May every woman find her rights upheld, see those who have committed crimes against her prosecuted and find equality in all aspects of her life...especially in regards to equal pay and paid maternity leave.  
  • May Lady Justice (I'm talking to you, USA) put her blindfold back on so that all people are treated equally in the eyes of her system.  
  • May cities across the world, but especially in the USA (Yep, I'm calling you out again!), root out the bad cops among law enforcement and recruit only the best men and women to serve as police officers.  There needs to be change in a system that stand by as men, women, and even children are gunned down with brutal and excessive force (LaQuan McDonald ring a bell?) because of a perceived threat and the color of their skin.  We have seen too much devastation in this country because a bad cop will unload the full clip of his gun into someone before asking questions, trying to verbally de-escalate or reaching for his/her taser to subdue a suspect.  This needs to change in 2016!  
  • May the United States Congressional leadership finally realize that they have zero rights to dictate my gynecological health. The US Supreme Court has long ago ruled on Roe v. Wade and, sorry crazy people, but abortions are legal in this country. If you object to abortion don't have one.  Just because something offends your delicate sensibilities doesn't mean that other women shouldn't be able to decide if it is the right choice for them. 
  • May hatred of a group of people because of their religion turn to love of those same people if for no other reason than they are our fellow human beings.
  • May we all find whatever it is that is lacking in our lives: Joy, peace, forgiveness, healing, love, etc.
  • And finally, may we all remember that we are all in this together, so we might as well work together to create a better global community for everyone. 
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Santa Claus

Since it is the holiday season, I wanted to share something that I read every year.  It was originally published in The New York Sun on September 21, 1897.  I am 35 years old and I know that Santa Claus is real.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  May the spirit of Santa Claus be forever in your hearts!

"We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
Dear Editor—
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O'Hanlon
115 West Ninety Fifth Street
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.
We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."
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"Is There a Santa Claus?" reprinted from the September 21, 1897, number of The New York Sun.