It’s Christmas. I wish all Christian readers of my blog a blessed Christmas. For the rest of us, it’s a good time to rest, reflect, and recharge in preparation for a new year ahead.
Another common greeting for Christmas is to wish one another a “Merry Christmas”. It is a greeting that manifests our desire that other people are happy. It is not an easy feat, being happy. I recently read fantastic advice that is attributed to one of the people I admire and respect most on Facebook. I am not sure whether he really wrote this, but this definitely sounds like something Pope Francis would have said:
“You may have defects, be anxious and sometimes live irritated, but do not forget that your life is the greatest enterprise in the world. Only you can prevent it from going into decadence. There are many that need you, admire you and love you.
I would like to remind you that being happy is not having a sky without storms, or roads without accidents, or work without fatigue, or relationships without disappointments.
Being happy is finding strength in forgiveness, hope in one’s battles, security at the stage of fear, love in disagreements.
Being happy is not only to treasure the smile, but that you also reflect on the sadness.
It is not just commemorating the event, but also learning lessons in failures.
It is not just having joy with the applause, but also having joy in anonymity.
Being happy is to recognize that it is worthwhile to live, despite all the challenges, misunderstandings and times of crises.
Being happy is not inevitable fate, but a victory for those who can travel towards it with your own being.
Being happy is to stop being a victim of problems but become an actor in history itself.
It is not only to cross the deserts outside of ourselves, but still more, to be able to find an oasis in the recesses of our soul.
It is to thank God every morning for the miracle of life.
Being happy is not being afraid of one’s feelings. It is to know how to talk about ourselves. It is to bear with courage when hearing a “no”.
It is to have the security to receive criticism, even if is unfair.
It is to kiss the children, pamper the parents, have poetic moments with friends, even if they have hurt us.
Being happy means allowing the free, happy and simple child inside each of us to live; having the maturity to say, “I was wrong”; having the audacity to say, “forgive me”.
It is to have sensitivity in expressing, “I need you”; to have the ability of saying, “I love you.”
So that your life becomes a garden full of opportunities for being happy…
In your spring-time, may you become a lover of joy. In your winter, may you become a friend of wisdom.
And when you go wrong along the way, you start all over again. Thus you will be more passionate about life.
And you will find that happiness is not about having a perfect life but about using tears to water tolerance, losses to refine patience, failures to carve serenity, pain to lapidate pleasure, obstacles to open the windows of intelligence.
Never give up …. Never give up on the people you love. Never give up from being happy because life is an incredible show.
And you are a special human being!”
Christmas. It is a reminder of the good in us amidst all the crazy shit that is going around the world. It is a time for peace, for reconciliation. It is a time of hope, of profound joy. Even for non-Christians, the spirit of Christmas is, I think, universal. I think this advertisement by Sainsbury’s in 2014 captured the universal spirit of Christmas very well.
Apparently, the advertisement was inspired by true events that happened during the First World War.
We are capable of peace. We are capable of humanity. We are capable of hope. We are capable of joy for all. For all.