By PAT WATSON
Now that we are into December, with Christmas Day just three weeks away, let us begin to make our Christmas gift wish list. Of course, thinking of all those with whom we share the planet, all our brothers and sisters in humanity, a wish for our universal wellbeing has to be on the list. Let us wish for good health for others, for glad hearts, and for all the necessities that would make a worthwhile life.
It looks like a big list, so we would all have to spend the better part of human existence working together to make such Christmas wishes become reality. But wouldn’t such an endeavour make the very Spirit for which we mark the annual celebration fulfilled? One imagines so.
Still, after thinking of others, we may well consider what gifts would bring our own selves great joy. Picture this as a welcome Christmas gift: Spending four carefree weeks someplace warm and sunny that has a beach. Four weeks would be the better part of a Toronto summer season.
Such a wish would have everything to do with the trauma that was last year’s pre-Christmas Day offering from Mother Nature, which left more than half of the households in this region without electricity and heating for days while ice clung to everything outdoors, and temperatures continued mercilessly to grow colder.
We have all heard of post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD – but what about PISSD – post ice storm stress disorder? Hence, the need for not just the usual seven days, six nights away in the tropics, but an entire month.
Fantasy vacations aside, at this time of year, it would be well to remember all the children and youths who would feel left out of the festivities by not receiving what kids love most about Christmas, that is presents of the season. For those planning to give to charities that will ensure kids in need are given a share of the festivities, please remember that older kids are often left off the charitable gift-giving list. They would benefit from that consideration as well.
Also, it is not too early to make arrangements to give your time in preparation for Christmas Day feasts for people who are needy. Many churches and charitable organizations offer Christmas dinner and need helping hands to make sure all goes well. A gift of one’s time in helping others is supremely valuable, both for those receiving the kindness and for those giving it. It’s time to get into the Christmas Spirit.
A note on misogyny and responsibility…
He sat staring straight ahead, listening stoically while his travelling companion poured into his ear, and those of anyone else nearby, some of the most violent language imaginable about revenge on women. Hurt people, it has been said, hurt people. It would have been so easy to condemn the speaker for his hate-filled speech. But the question arose as to what hurt him so much that he would speak about subjecting women to such hurt? Whenever friends in broken relationships complain about the other person, it is well to ask, how did you contribute to the situation, or the crisis? This is not about blame, but about taking responsibility for the part one plays in creating one’s own misery or the misery of others.
If this man repeatedly experiences damaging relationships with women, and, from the story he was telling his captive audience, that had been the case, then the mathematics of this equation would show him to be the common factor. So the question is not why are all women so terrible to him. Instead, the question is what is it in me that seeks to engage with particular types of characters that harm me? Beyond that, the question is how do I go about changing so that I am no longer drawn to such persons? As it is the Christmas season, the hope is that the gift this hurt man receives is a moment of self-honesty to become aware of these important questions so that he can begin to free himself of whatever brought him hurt in the first place and so that he can move forward into a more loving way of being.
Pat Watson is the author of the e-book, In Through A Coloured Lens. Twitter@patprose.