“How many observe Christ’s Birthday? How few, His Precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than Commandments.”
Well, well, well! The time has come once again! The time of the year when we pull all the plugs in the spirit of Celebration! Time for Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, the wait for midnight to open our presents that Santa made sure to deliver on-time, time for family get-together and endless parties, time to spread cheers while hiding our own pain within! The time to give and receive gifts, time to do some charity and feed the poor, time to do some community service with a trip to the local soup kitchen and time to spend with family, leaving all stress behind until the day Credit Card bills start coming in!
It is a great feeling how swiftly the year has gone by. Each year we have the same story how fast the year went and each year we make new resolutions that hardly ever go past the first month, if at all!
Holiday season is a great blessing to the local businesses as their very survival depends upon the support of the community that they serve. The big box stores have been constantly stealing away from them by offering Mega Discounts. Online shopping has also made a huge dent in already teetering retail as we know today. But no one knows how long we can survive the onslaught of the virtual world on the brick and mortar stores. It is anybody’s guess. In the name of celebration, let us support our local businesses as much as we reasonably can!
Coming back to the festive spirit, let us keep in mind the above quote that is a stark reminder for us to not just remember Christ the Redeemer but also His 10 Commandments. And why just remember them and not emulate in our daily lives? Why do we only become generous in the month of December and not in January or throughout the year?
Imagine the plight of the poor, the needy, the homeless and those fallen on misfortune! What makes us think that feeding them all at once will take care of their hunger pangs throughout the year?
It is not my intent to give a sermon or quote the Holy Bible to recite the 10 Commandments as I assume we all know them already, in one form or another. What makes me say that? To the best of my knowledge and belief, every religion teaches us practically the same things: to be honest, upright and sincere towards our Maker, towards one another and towards those less fortunate. We are also taught never to lie under any circumstances, not to steal from anyone, not to harm or hurt anybody and devote a part of our day in His Service. There are many other variations to the above teachings as we go from one country to another and from one ethnicity to another. However, they all teach us to develop generosity as a trait.
I wonder what makes us adopt generosity as a one-time trait, at the end of the year, during the festivities when we tend to spend like there was no tomorrow. Soon the tomorrow happens our life falls back into the same old churning mill of stress, workload, bill payments, time strains, family obligations and so much more…
Let us resolve to revisit our priorities and make the community, an integral part of the same, on a regular basis, the community we live in and call our own. Let us set aside a certain percentage of each Paycheck for those less fortunate in our neighborhood. Let us tighten our belts just a tad more in favor of those that can’t even afford one. Let us make it a habit to help the needy on a regular basis so our generosity does not pour out all at once, at this festive time of the year. Let us start to celebrate life itself as a festival each day, every day and give in that spirit to make this world a little bit more joyous…