In the Christian tradition, Christmas is a time for peace on earth and goodwill to all men. What is happening in Ukraine and Gaza, not to mention the many other conflicts which do not make it to our news feed shows the urgent need for this idea of peace on earth and goodwill all men to infect the whole world, all year round.
A common theme we see is the propaganda of the aggressor; a key part of which is to dehumanise, making the people of a certain race, nationality and /or religion scapegoats, less than human and responsible for all that is wrong in society, whilst at the same time making claim to some historical or religious right to the lands and belongings of other people.
In all of this justification for violence, common humanity is forgotten, people and their suffering are forgotten, innocent men, women and children are simply treated as dispensable pawns sacrificed to be for egocentric greed for power of a few men. Young men are sent to fight and die for the greed of old men who do neither.
This behaviour by so many venal leaders and their followers is something that we as a species urgently need to outgrow.
Evolution has prepared us for a world in which sudden brutal death was ever present. Part of this is to notice differences to be suspicious of those not of our “tribe”. The world in which we find ourselves is quite different from the world for which evolution has prepared us.
The reality is that we all have so much more in common than we have differences. This is true regardless of your religion, nationality, sexual orientation or gender.
This Christmas and on into the New year. Do what you can to help, don’t focus on what you cannot control but rather things that you do control. Start this Christmas with consciously with the exercise “Just like me”. As you walk around find someone who you feel is different to you, someone perhaps for whom you might even feel a sense of dislike, now start: this person wants to be happy and avoid suffering just like me; this person has suffered just like me; this person wants to be loved just like me; this person would like to feel understood, just like me; this person has made mistakes that they regret, just like me; make them up as you go along.
Or try the Loving Kindness.
Whatever you do, even if it feels uncomfortable at first, wake up, find common humanity, for your sake and the sake of all beings
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year