Holidays 2014: Look For Ways to Bring Joy and Peace

The holiday season is upon us. From now until the New Year, many celebrations at home and afar will occur. People will meet the holidays in many ways dependent on their beliefs, geography, family, and more.

I am mindful of unrest this holiday season. Brutal terrorist acts against innocents line the front page. Accidental and unplanned pain and suffering is great too as I read of car accidents, drunk driving, texting crashes, fire, prejudice, and the victims of senseless violent acts. There are those in my midst too who are ill and struggling. And our government at many levels debate and argue with little collaboration or collective vision.

I'm not exactly sure if times are tougher*, bad news more readily available, or if I'm just more mindful of these events, but, I do know that I see this perception as a baseline to move from as I embrace the holidays and think about what's important to me and my family during the 2014 holiday season.

This holiday season, I want to focus on the simple joy and pleasures in life. First, I want to recognize and celebrate the wonderful joy that surrounds me including the young people in love, children's creativity, play, wonderful food, natural beauty, new babies to come, and the stories of friends and family. What is life without the recognition of the great joy related to love, birth, family, friends, and childhood.

Next, as I buy simple gifts for family and friends, I want to acknowledge their friendship and care--so many have shown me love, support, and affection in the past year, and for that I'm grateful.

Further, this holiday season, I want to step back and take it in. I want to be there to make celebrations possible for others and take pleasure in the people that surround me each day.

As for the world's struggles, I keep thinking about ways that we can bring about more peace. We must look for ways to support children in schools so they have peaceful childhoods that enable them to bring peaceful solutions and care forward in our world. We have to speak up when bad events happen and use empathy, compassion, and care to right the wrongs. We have to look for new ways to make good happen, and retire old, ineffective ways. And we have to look in at our selves and the ways that we can make our lives and the lives of those we know and love better.

There's never a scarcity of ways to contribute to our world in ways that benefit ourselves and others. During the holiday season, I'll be on the lookout for ways that I can contribute in meaningful ways.

In many ways it has been a challenging year, but the challenges are serving to move me forward in ways that are deep and loving. And with that in mind, I wish all a happy and joyful Holiday season.


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