(sigh). Yes, I know. It’s probably way too late in the game to be writing you — Christmas is just days away now. But I’m hoping that, somehow, you’ve still got a miracle or two up your fur-trimmed sleeve. We sure could use one.
You’re probably surprised to hear from me anyway, me being Jewish and all. But honestly, if ever there was a time to put religion aside and start thinking as ‘one’, this has to be it.
Relax, Santa, it’s not gifts I’m after. Not the usual kind, anyway. So there’s no last-minute shopping for you, Mrs. Claus or the elves to do. No wrapping either. On the contrary. I’m thinking you should return all the gifts you’ve already gathered. That’s right. Empty that sleigh!
I’m quite sure you read the newspapers, Santa. And could the news be any worse? Hostage-taking, beheadings, innocent children murdered for no reason, senseless violence everywhere you turn. Blood and fragments of skin and bone and guts and brain matter splattered all over the place. Staining our memories forever.
Hatred, prejudice, racial profiling, religious zealots, cyber attacks, bigotry, misogyny, rape, abuse, torture, terror, unjustly-aggressive police, immorality, corruption, dishonesty, deception, dissension, dysfunction, injustice, inequality, hunger, poverty, mental illness, desperation.
Brutality of all kinds, inflicted upon each other, upon animals and even upon this endangered planet of ours.
Never did I think I’d live in a world so messed up, filled with so many people capable of such atrocities. Inhuman. Inhumane. No conscience. No decency. No respect for life or even the most basic of human rights.
We see it where we live, right in our own back yards. We see it in every corner of the world. In big cities. In tiny villages. In third world countries. From continent to continent. Among the rich and the poor, the educated and the illiterate. Evil, it seems, is equal opportunity. It can fester anywhere, even in so-called civilized societies. It doesn’t discriminate. It can, and does, touch us all. No one is safe. Nowhere is safe.
And the saddest news of all, the scariest news of all, is that we’re all guilty, even if we haven’t pulled the triggers or carried the swords, built the bombs or made the threats. Because if we’ve turned the other cheek, if we’ve looked the other way, even once, if we’ve accepted the status quo, even once, if we’ve never questioned what’s going on, if we haven’t insisted on the truth, if we’ve never put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, if we’ve never exercised our rights, if we’ve never demanded change, if we’ve never demanded reform, if we’ve kept our mouths shut — well — what can you expect? And really, how can we live with ourselves?
It’s ironic. Thanks to technology we’re more ‘connected’ than any generation has ever been. And yet, as a human race, we couldn’t be farther apart, more ‘disconnected’.
So here’s what I’m thinking, Santa. Maybe this year, instead of schlepping all those carefully-wrapped presents from chimney to chimney there’s a better, more important, more meaningful, more productive use of your time.
Just maybe you could find a way to make us all come to our senses. Give us what it takes to be tolerant and kind and generous and peace-loving. Give us what it takes to celebrate our differences and find common ground. Make us less ignorant, less selfish, less greedy and more compassionate. Give us the courage and commitment to stand up and be counted. And most of all, give us the strength and determination to fight all those who would destroy us, so fairness and peace, joy, opportunity and hope are possible for one and all.
Thank you, Santa. Merry Christmas; and to all a good night!