Thursday, December 18, 2014

Santa Pause

Vintage Santa Beating His Own Drum
Keller, TX
One must know not just how to accept a gift,
but with what grace to share it.
Maya Angelou

It's a crazy world and by virtue of the season and time of year, I will add "It's A Wonderful Life". Even global politicians the likes of US President Barack Obama and Cuba's President Raul Castro seek the spirit of charity and fill the air with promises that perhaps a new major league baseball team might emerge: the Habana Castros. Even George Bailey would be impressed.

Al Hernández
For nearly six decades like John Mayer I've been "Waiting on the World to Change" and it has. Hershey bars are no longer five cents and Cokes are not a dime and children are driven to school and no longer safe from lurking child predators, drug dealers and terrorists with extreme grudges. Our once cold war and communist enemies are now are our trading partners. The middle class keeps eroding as the same middle votes for the policies endorsed by top elite who exclude them and shrinks the size of the middle class and hides under the conservative banner while waging war both physical and economic that the same middle must bear. No one retires with a gold watch any more because a handful of CEO's have their own gold standard although few of them were the entrepreneurs risking everything to form these great companies they plunder.

Despite my cynicism, I remain hopeful because during the same period, I've seen enemies learn to not only come to the peace table but also eat together at it. The dawn of the age of transistors and television now touts high speed internet and compact mirror less cameras and Dick Tracy like FaceTime. We not only landed on the moon but were also able to land on a moving comet millions of miles away. It all makes me give pause and hope. What if the world is ready to change again once more?

So this is my Christmas list for this year in hopes that my grandchildren and their children get to see. Top on my list is more compassion. I want to see more people who are willing to physically help others than to simply send them prayerful thoughts. A hungry man wanting to feed his children needs more than your prayers. He may need money during the interim while he finds a job. A sick person needs more than your prayers they may require medical attention and can't afford to pay. Your neighbor without a job and depressed needs more than your prayers.

Prayer and meditation are wonderful things but human compassion is tangible. How often do people yearn to have a touch, a kind word of encouragement, and a meal? When was the last time you extended a hand out to someone perhaps a discouraged neighbor? A handout is not really against our nature in fact its our human/communal nature that requires it. It's something even cousin chimps do.

This season I am grateful for the humbling lessons of the past five years. Although part of me resents those who looked the other way and at times made me drift and become bitter; I choose not to change with respect to charity and continue to help others regardless. I will talk to the discouraged and help others. Perhaps its no coincidence that I have an opportunity to become a financial advisor to reduce the stress that others may face and to help them meet their goals. At some point, you will realize like I did we are in this together and we must share our faith and exercise compassion. This is the season to exercise charity (love). "So send I you."

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