In my childhood home and now my own home Christmas has always been paired with festivities and joy.
I love Christmas. I love the whole thing. I love everything about it.
Not only because of its spiritual significance but everything, from when the tree goes up, to the lights on the streets, the family gatherings, the food (obviously the food) and who can forget the presents.
I suppose all of these are embodiments of love. Love for each other, love for the day, love for celebration.
I am lucky this year. I have the most important people in my life around me. To be incredibly tacky, love is literally all around. (I know, sorry…couldn’t resist)
In an inexplicable way it is usually at these times when we are at our happiest that we are reminded of those of us excluded from these celebratory gatherings.
The news of the shack fire in Valhalla Park, Cape Town where more than 1000 people have been left homeless is devastating. People, who had nothing, now have even less.
A day before Christmas, the misery they face?
These incidents are not isolated unfortunately, and I am sure most of us are faced with abject poverty almost daily.
Whenever somebody suggests we should, as a society, take note of our blessings and remember the less fortunate, the cliché response usually is, “we should do it every other day of the year too!” I am in full agreement. We should be lending helping hands whenever we can. We should all be taking part in ridding this world of its pain. However, these special days play their part in reminding us of the inequality and imbalanced realities surrounding us.
I don’t have the answers. I’m not a guru. I don’t know how to solve the world’s problems. I’m just a storyteller.
When I did the lifeline course a few years ago I was taught to always say I, and not we. That I should use myself as an example and not be lost in the collective. This forces me to ponder, what am I going to do tomorrow to make a difference in somebody’s life?
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