On the EDge: And so this is Christmas…

“So this is Christmas

          And what have you done.

Another year older

          A new one just begun.”

                                        – John Lennon/Yoko Ono

OPINION – It’s never really Christmas for me until I hear the John Lennon-Yoko Ono Christmas song.

It came out during a time when there was a lot of trouble and strife in the world.

Seems we still have a lot of trouble and strife in our world. We haven’t learned much, which is why sometimes, at this time of year, I get the blues.

The message of Christmas, of course, is “Peace on Earth, goodwill to all men (and women).”

It doesn’t differentiate between race, creed, political belief, or any of those other lines that separate us.

It’s simple, really, and oft-repeated, as most of the essential rules of living are, like the most essential rule of all: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

But, the message continues to fall upon deaf ears.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that we should tolerate injustice, greed, bigotry and just accept that which is evil in this world as a part of our existence. Those folks don’t get a pass.

But it does mean that perhaps, if we can, we should look into each other’s eyes for the truth that is there and search their souls, no matter what their skin, religion, bank account, or any of that other stuff that really doesn’t matter.

We’re as similar as we are different, an enigma, if you will, in this thing we call the human condition.

Basically, however, all any of us really want is a little peace.

It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remain critical thinkers or be afraid to hold the mirror up to society and reflect its shortcomings. Quite the contrary, it is our responsibility to do so to grow, move forward, fix what we have broken.

Sincerity and truth, however, must be at the heart of it all.

We tend to forget all this stuff until about this time each year when we are inundated by songs and sermons as we max out our credit cards in an annual display of giving. Real giving, however, isn’t about wrapping up a bunch of consumables and piling them under a tree.

Giving comes in calming the hearts and minds of others, offering compassion for those in need or grief, thinking in terms of “we” instead of “me.”

It’s one reason why I always had a problem with the whole Santa Claus thing.

Unless you’ve seen poverty and need, you don’t understand that there are kids who, when they go back to school after the Christmas break, will talk about all the great stuff Santa brought while some of their less fortunate classmates had little, if anything, to open on Christmas morning. There’s an inequity there, of course, and it damages, heavily, the child who feels that perhaps they were not good enough or deserving of a more bountiful Christmas when times and situations play hard on what may, or may not, be under their tree. It’s the same for adults, too, you know.

Nobody deserves to feel inferior.

Our station in life isn’t always predictable, our shortcomings not always self-inflicted, especially in times such as these when we really don’t have a lot of say in what is going down around us.

Our individual attitudes and behavior, you know, affect what we do as a nation, which is why we get upside down in wars, sanctions against one another, and refusal to acknowledge each other in a civil manner.

The thing is, whether you are living in a guarded, secure community or in some Third World ghetto, we are all in this together, and the sooner we realize it, the better off we all will be. We cannot expect, plead, demand peace if we don’t first offer it.

So, what we do really does have impact on our ever-shrinking world.

The John and Yoko Christmas song is a simple little thing, really, a reminder of all of this.

But, there is a power in its simplicity, a noble spirit, a spark of hope that we really can get it together and follow that simple path to a world we’d all like to make a better place.

“A very Merry Christmas

          And a Happy New Year.

          Let’s hope it’s a good one

          Without any fear.”

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Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • Big Guy December 23, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Thanks for these thoughtful words, Ed. Merry Christmas.

  • Evil twins mommy December 23, 2014 at 9:37 am

    That was a very well thought out article Ed I enjoy reading all your articles. You are a very talented writer and once again you have hit home with your thoughts. Merry Christmas Ed to you and your family

  • arts and letters December 23, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Just right, Ed, just right…or as even the Grinch came to realize: “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

    Thanks for your thoughtful columns this year…Merry Christmas and all best to you and yours.

  • ICALLRaiseYa December 23, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Interesting thoughts on what Christmas means to you Ed. I guess everybody has a different take on what this season of giving means to them. To some, it makes them think about the Messiahs birth. Others the need for Toy for Tots and the less fortunate, Others are more concerned with what they got in their stocking, Still others will be reminded of the good old times. (John Lennon, wasn’t he a singer with the Beetles back in the good old days?)
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a New Year that make you smile throughout the entire year Ed.
    (Everybody want and needs to smile)

  • McMurphy December 23, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Ed — I usually open your columns looking forward to being at least annoyed. You disappointed me this time. Very good and thoughtful column.

  • mo ferguson December 23, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Although I never agree with what you write about Ed, a very Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    And don’t get the blues, the blues cause stress and stress is no good.

  • Joe Smith December 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Every year I seem to read things like this. Every year they seem to say exactly the same thing “peace on earth blah blah blah, etc etc etc”. Seems rather pointless and silly. I’d much rather read one of Eds liberal tirades.

    • ICALLRaiseYa December 23, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      Get a life Joe. Some times Ed just can’t help himself. Everybody needs to smile now and then. I bet even Bryan Hyde is nodding his head with approval with this one and wishes he wrote it.
      Just look around at your neighbors faces Joe. Somethings in the air Joe. Can’t you feel it?

  • S Steed December 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I grew up not celebrating Christmas so as an observer it is quite fascinating to me. I don’t see why people lie to their kids about Santa, and I don’t think Jesus would condone the consumerist culture; From what I understand the holiday originated from Saturnalia where the romans celebrated the return of Saturn; It is the day the sun begins to move north again. To me it looks like people are doing pagan rituals in the name of Jesus and I find it strange how much the Jewish controlled media promotes it. There is definitely a lot of love this time of year; I see it, I feel it, and its beautiful. The lights are pretty too; wasteful, but pretty. Ed described it best when he called it an enigma. Merry Christmas to all.

  • IN THE GAME December 23, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Kudos to Mr. Ed. Oh wait, wasn’t Mr. Ed the talking horse from that 60’s television show?

  • TruthSeeker December 24, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Nice take. I like hearing about others meaning of the holiday. I like learning about all all the origins of Christmas and other holidays and learning the different traditions of different cultures from different time periods.
    To anyone that thinks Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, I’d like to inform them that Dec 25th is also the day that numerous other saviors were born. Makes ya wonder and want to seek the truth of the matter.
    Horus of Egypt 3000BC, Attis of Frigia 1500BC, Mithra of Persia 1200BC, Krishna of India 900BC, Dionysus of Greece 500BC, to name a few.
    And they all were born from a virgin, had desciples, performed miracles, died for 3 days then was resurrected. They were all known as God’s son, the light of the world, etc.

    Many interesting points about the Jesus myth . And the fact that Christmas is a Pagan holiday.

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