SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN AND ONCE more the streets are bright with lights that lift our mood.
Christmas comes only once a year but it has always been the most looked-forward-to event that we will always recall as a child. We remember mostly the joy of receiving gifts from the adults in the family: twenty pesos was big loot from our godmothers and/or godfathers and two pesos each from our aunts and uncles. The special presents were from our Moms and Dads.
We must admit, to ourselves, that although we knew and we thought about Jesus and Mary and Bethlehem and all the religious reasons behind Christmas, we were more self-centered during our childhood. Now that we are grown-up and getting old, and all Christmases seem to fly past the years, we think of our family, our children, and our children's children, and how we owe them a better world and that we should try to shape this world into a kinder, better one so they may, in turn, try to give their own for their children's future and a better nation.
We have changed gradually over the years as we grew up and we now have families of our own. We now give, and not only look to receive.
What has not changed, it seems, is how the world is. Every day we look at the headlines and there are mostly news about violence, and the plodding political progress in our country. Although we have a new President, who for all intents and purposes seem to have the nation's future firmly as his objective, obstructionism as a tactic by opposition to the new establishment is rampant, motivated by politics rather than good citizenship and the goal of one nationhood and success as a country.
The new lotto jackpot is driving most people to dream of winning. Although this is not bad in itself, the idea gives more value to a dream versus hard work. Why not, of course, as we proceed to buy tickets ourselves.
All stores are decked with mostly products to buy because, after all, it is commercialism that drives the spirit of Christmas, not religion.
What is missing in this big world, it seems, is a lack of spiritualism, a lack of responsibility to make it a better place, rather than just letting others do the solving of the problems, the giving and we, the receiving, and depending on the spin of a roulette to determine our fates.
All is not lost, however.
Let us not take away what thousands of our countrymen have done and are doing, going abroad, and missing out on their families during Christmastime, so that they could give a better life for them, sacrificing for them, so that they could have a better future.
Let us hope of course that a better future goes beyond materialism-although granted, it is part of our being in a physical world.
The best present we can give our children is a stable tradition and the right Christian values in life, that the family is still the basic unit of our society. Our extended families still play a part in our culture. We sincerely believe that we can make a difference as we all have a lot of opportunities every single day to help realize the natural order of things. Let us all have a spark of love and humanity into our lives. We hope that our children in turn can pass on the same stable values to their children, including a good sense of neighborhood and nationhood. RENE-EDGAR R. MENDOZA, MD
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