I am not going to dampen the Holiday spirit by listing all the evils plaguing society here and around the world. Around the world.
Where is it "safe"?
Among the South Pacific Islands that are sinking because of global warming, surrounded by an ocean that is becoming more and more polluted each day?
Is the world more dangerous than it's ever been?
I think that it's always been dangerous. The media choose which dangers to emphasize, of course, but I'd say the biggest dangers plaguing society are the environmental holocaust as well as the lack of gun control in the United States. The statistics are hair-raising--how many gun murders occur here as opposed to terrorist murders around the globe?
And there is the immigration crisis and sanctions being initiated against Russia. Merry Christmas.
So I went onto Google to find out why we say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Christmas," an extremely accessible subject: "Happy" is used among the British and "Merry" here, replete with connotations of getting plastered during the holidays. That's why, according to my Google source, Queen Elizabeth II uses "Happy Christmas" routinely.
Getting plastered over the holidays is a great solution to the fear meme being perpetrated by the Republican presidential campaign. Indeed, there is much to fear and lament over.
There is still love. That's what Christmas is all about. Love and hope and generosity--the birth of a child who will take all of our sins upon his slender shoulders, a Messiah, the Messiah--but why couldn't He transcend human nature as Son of God?
Others have answers. I have questions. He is reborn each year, despite everything pulling toward death and destruction.
Yesterday I found out that in Afghanistan the people are driven to burn their own garbage to heat their homes and are becoming diseased from the pollution this forces them to inhale. ISIS recruits the men forcefully for a salary of $300 a month. This was a report from a member of the U.S. military who just returned from there.
The issues preoccupying me are not as simple as hope vs. fear or even hope coexisting with fear. I can no more analyze everything swirling around in my mind than I can hope for solutions, though there are some, probably beyond us.
Is "probably" the crux of my impasse?