It was recently reported in the news that a gentleman in Philadelphia gave away several thousand dollars in $100 bills to individual people in his community. One of our local TV stations gathers new toys to be distributed to children in our communities. The promise of Christmas and the holidays is seen with the ringing bell of the Salvation Army volunteer and a genuine “Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas” greeting. Either one works for me.
The law of love is this: “What I give my brother is my gift to me." When I give good will, I am holding it in my mind and thus I also have it.
What makes Christmas the cheeriest of seasons is the symbolism of hope associated with a young babe, who although born into poverty, became an awakened being. Not only awakened, but kind and wise, despite having plenty of odds against him.
The joyful promise of Christmas is that we, too, can awaken to the kindness we were born with and it compels us to let it shine forth and heal the suffering in the world. Some in our world may feel that the odds are stacked against them, with war, powerlessness, poverty and injustice, but light and love hold the promise that will overcome all obstacles and self-limiting beliefs.
We are not exempt from the light and love that is our inheritance. This is why we are all fundamentally the same. We inherited the same spark of love and kindness as did that little babe. Let yours go forth today. Give it to everyone you meet; to those you think about; old friends or enemies from the past and even to those who have passed.
Today, the Middle East, not far from where that small babe was born, has become a humanitarian disaster zone, producing refugees seeking a place at the inn. Mothers and fathers with babies and children run from harm’s way, asking for shelter and mercy, and many encounter rejection and obstacles with borders being closed and people turned away.
The prime minister of Germany, Angela Merkel, has become the voice of reason and compassion. She is like a Harriet Tubman, holding the light in the darkness of mistrust and loathing. There are some in our country who are distrustful of refugees, but we cannot let fear stand in the way of tolerance, good will and compassion. We may be at war with terrorism but surely we are not at war with families with children.
I recently wrote a hypothetical letter to ISIS. Since the mystics tell us we share the same mind perhaps the message will reach some crevice of gray matter somewhere in time. I share it below. You may not agree and I invite you to write a letter from your heart.
Dear Isis and Supporters:
I understand your hate and your misery. Everyone, if they are truthful, recognizes the hate they harbor in their heart at times. Hate damages the soul. Many in the world hate you, too.
I am sorry for hatred and pain but know that this need not be. Hate is a choice. You are in charge of what you think about others. Allah is love and so are you. No one is without the spark of love they were born with.
You may hate me but what you think of me does not determine what I think of you. I choose to exclude no one from my love. It gives me peace to be inclusive. Peace is stronger than war because it heals. War is division not increase.
Jesus said “Love your enemies” and Mohammad said “Do not get angry” (www.islamawareness.net). This may sound simplistic but let’s bring our favorite food to the table and talk it out. Afterwards we will sing songs of peace to each other!
May Allah/God guide all faiths and non-believers, to the path of peace and brotherhood so the entire family of man will know its oneness and live in peace and good will forevermore.
Sally McKirgan facilitates the Tidings inner peace column. Send your 600 to 700 word article or a letter to Isis to her at firstname.lastname@example.org If enough letters are received they may be published in a column.