Isn't it ironic that elections happen in November and the holidays of Christmas and Hanukkah occur in December? Was the scheduling of November as election month coincidental?
Isn't it nice that a month after elections take place - with many of the downright nasty displays of selfish, "pick me, pick me," name calling by some to win those elections - that we enter a season which transforms some to go out of their way to do good for others, spread cheer, offer good wishes, smile more and share the "tidings of great joy" celebrated at this time of year?
I'm sometimes naive, or idealistic or whatever you want to call it, but I believe that the scheduling of elections in November is not coincidental.
J. Paul Lombardo
I want to believe that it's scheduled this way so some people who have great philosophical and political differences could put all of that aside and re-exchange pleasantries, words of good cheer, smiles, and good wishes, proving that we can disagree with some things, but then come together as fellow human beings and wish each other well (though not quite yet in Washington or on Facebook, I guess).
"Tis the season," as the song says, to share with others. Some do it by sharing good thoughts, good wishes and fellowship. Some do it by volunteer work. Some do it through donations of coats, hats, mittens or other things needed by others.
Some do it by donations of food to food cupboards, missions, soup kitchens and church pantries. Some do it by donations of toys for children. Some do it by anonymous monetary donations toward people's lay-away accounts at local stores.
Some do it by visiting adult homes, sharing time, conversation, music, smiles, laughter, and maybe a hug or two. Some do it by filling the kettles of the Salvation Army or manning those kettles for an hour or more in any kind of weather, helping to keep the tinkling of that bell ringing long past the Christmas season, hoping that what people fill those buckets with will help many for many months after the season.
Some do it by sharing talents in various Christmas concerts, plays and programs - both entertaining and keeping the meaning of the season alive in the hearts and minds of so many. Some do it by putting aside differences of opinion, some of which were so vocally and passionately shared a month-plus ago, and remembering that most of us want the same things, hopefully two of them being peace on Earth and good will toward men.
Some do this silently, with handshakes or hugs. Some do it with a smile or a listening ear. Some do it by thought or prayer.
However it's done, it seems like whatever we are or believe for 11 months is part of us but not the real us. I believe that what happens at this time of year is the real us that is underneath the other real us. Sometimes we don't notice it as we're involved with so many things happening in our personal lives at this time of year, but it is there. Sometimes I like to be around a lot of people at this time of year and just observe with eyes and ears, watching, listening to the sights and sounds of the season, not just decorations and music, but the sights and sounds of brotherhood and good will. It is great entertainment, and a renewal of hope in mankind.
Politics are what they are. There are going to be things we're going to be for and things we're going to be against. There are politicians who we're going to be for, and those we're going to be against. Decisions will be made, some with which we agree, and some with which we don't agree. I know decisions will be made which force many people, including me, to tighten our belts even more than what we have to do now.
I understand all of this, but because of whatever power there is, regardless of how much I pay in taxes or health insurance, or what I think is right or wrong with the world or country, I'm lucky to open my eyes each morning and have the ability to go out into the world and interact with other people, whether I agree with them or not, and share, not only my ideas and opinions with them, but also some of the "warm" things mentioned earlier in this piece.
There have been many instances of tragedy in this world and country. Most recently, the northeastern region of our country was ravaged by a storm which destroyed property and changed the lives of many people. It included loss of life and property. It truly was horrific for many, but in the heat of the election in the midst of the mudslinging - the "he said or she said," the "he/she is lying," and the "whatever he/she can do, I can do better" speeches - there was a time when "good will toward men" shoved all of that aside and we saw people helping people, not Republicans or Democrats helping people, but people helping people.
We saw people sharing with each other, people caring about each other. How could your faith in people not be renewed by this? It's sad that it takes tragedies to let us see that we can all come together to help others, regardless of ideologies, or philosophies or politics.
So is it coincidental that the holidays of light, hope, fellowship, goodwill and faith happen after a month filled with so much argument, disagreement, and distrust? I like to think it was planned that way.