How many people still think of peace when they hear the word “Christmas”?
How many people not only think of the less fortunate people, but actually do something about it?
How many people really care about people they don’t know?
How many people help out with food and shelter?
Wasn’t that the exact problem Mary and Joseph were facing? No room available, no roof over their head? Being strangers in an unfamiliar city?
I don’t mind how people celebrate, it’s not what this blog is about, no, it’s just that I wonder: “Do you ever stand still for a moment and take time to reflect on what is going on in your life, in your country, in the world?”
I think Christmas is the perfect time for it. The year is at its end, the days are short and dark so we spend a lot of time on our couch, reading, enjoying the warmth and coziness of our home. Why don’t we think for a moment about how we can make an effort to help create a better world, a nicer place for everyone who lives on our planet.
The first step is inner peace. When we are not at peace in our mind, in our heart, no way that we’ll be able to create peace on the outside. To create inner peace, we have to be able to forgive: ourselves and others. Apparently that is one of the hardest things to do… Why is it so hard to forgive? Why do we keep blaming everyone and everything? Maybe because it’s too hard to face our own responsibilities? Maybe it’s because we don’t love ourselves enough? Maybe we think we’re not worthy of forgiveness? I say forgive here and now! Yourself and all the people you hold grudges against. Yes, all of them!
Okay, okay, I hear all the ego’s screaming and lamenting, naming all the reasons why we should not forgive. But my answer to that is:
What is the alternative?
Holding on to grudges equals:
Being alone on ‘your island of being right’.
All of those negative feelings make you lose sleep, make you feel tired and lonely, and in the end will make you ill. For me, that’s more than enough reason to forgive and let go!
Is it easy? NO!
Is it worth it? YES!
That does not mean that you accept and approve of what other people did in the past but it means you love yourself enough to let go and give yourself inner peace!
This also goes for what you hold on to against yourself. What you did or did not do, is in the past. You can’t change the past but you can live consciously from now on and be the best version of you. Forgive yourself, love yourself and move forward. Now is what counts, now is when you can make a difference, now is when your life is happening.
The second step is being aware of what is going on in the world, on our planet. As Jane Goodall says: first we have to understand the problem, then we will worry about it and start taking action. Only in taking action, a solution, a change can take place. Choose what it is that you feel you could help out with. A peaceful world is a world where everyone is as important, where all life matters, where there is no room for poverty and hunger! There is plenty you can do to make this planet a nicer place! Just sit for a moment and think about what you feel most connected with, where your heart goes out to and what you can do to help. It does not matter what you do, as long as you pull your weight. Luckily, we are all different people and we all have different interests so that should make it easier to cover all aspects where help is needed. Isn’t that wonderful?
Just take your pick:
Will you help out in a soup kitchen?
Will you donate food to a food bank?
Will you provide clothing?
Will you donate to send medical help?
Will you voice the needs to politicians?
Will you be an example of a ‘less consuming-minded’ society?
Will you go to the local re-use and recycling center?
Will you help cleaning up your village so that the environment can flourish?
Will you protect the wildlife?
Will you protect the habitat of animals, plants? Will you respect all life by eating no -or less- meat, by not buying stuff where animals have suffered because of it?
Will you protect oceans and rivers, … by not polluting, by not eating fish, by drastically diminishing your use of plastics, …?
Will you protect our earth by planting trees, by not using any pesticides, herbicides, …?
Will you volunteer in your neighborhood?
The list is endless and I am sure you can think of a lot of other stuff you can do too. But the thing is, nobody can say: “I can’t do anything about it” because we all can. If you want more love in the world, you have to put more love into it! My favorite saying still is:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi
When everybody helps out in their own way, you’ll notice what a huge difference this will make. When we all change our mindset to: yes, I can help, yes, I can make this world better, then we WILL make it a better place!
Isn’t that what we all want?
Isn’t that what Christmas should be about?
Isn’t that what we will all benefit from in the end?
Do it for our planet, for our society, for your neighborhood, for all the people you know and don’t know (yet), for your children, and also for …. yourself!! We are all connected, what we do, influences more than we can ever imagine. Each small gesture sends a ripple effect onto the world around you.
My wish for all of you from the bottom of my heart is:
A very warm, beautiful Christmas
and most of all:
Inner peace and
well-being for all!!
Thank you all for reading me!
author of “Less is Yes!”