There's a line from the popular Christmas carol It Came Upon a Midnight Clear that goes:
"Peace on the Earth, goodwill to men
From heaven's all gracious King..."
The days leading to Christmas are hardly peaceful in many cases. The Christmas rush; people arguing over that newly-vacated parking space at the mall; adults in a tug-of-war over that last toy that each of them absolutely must have; skyrocketing tempers because of traffic jams; anxiety that the gifts one bought might not please the recipient; the hustle and bustle of preparing the Christmas dinner and the onslaught of family and friends.
What will this Christmas be like for many people in my country? While the malls are thronged with shoppers doing their gift-buying, street children are knocking on car windows, begging for coins. While the rich and the not-so-rich-but-not-poor-either have their tables overflowing with food and drink, with laughter as a side dish, parents in the slums are heating water to boil a pack of instant noodles to feed a family of six. Lacking even instant noodles, some resort to just sprinkling their rice with salt. And that's it. Many young children don't even have homes where they could celebrate Christmas; home is a dry place on the street for many. I exaggerate not.
In a world that's been filled with strife since the dawn of civilization, is the word peace still relevant?
I, and many others, believe that it is.
Mimi Lenox, for one, believes it with all her heart. Will her BlogBlast for Peace initiative end war and hunger? By itself, probably not. But thinking about peace, believing in its possibility, can spur a person to hope, and to do his or her small part to make their corner of the world a more peaceful place to live. To take the focus away from war, hunger, child abuse, etc., and bring it back to the beauty that surrounds us all.
Each action that we take can bring us closer to it: smiling at a stranger. Hugging a friend or family member. Giving to charity. Volunteering for a cause. Out-of-this-world sex. Leaving a kind and sincere word to a fellow blogger. Signing a peace globe for all the world to see.
Such simple things to do.
Oftentimes, though, it's the simplicity of things that makes them have such a great impact--both on ourselves and on others.
Inner peace, and peace for the people we love and who love us--these are my holiday wishes for each and every one.