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LETTER: Syrian refugee crisis reminds us to stay humble this Christmas


With Remembrance Day still fresh in our minds, and as we dig out the Christmas lights, the average North American is thinking about shopping for the holidays. It's right around the corner.

Feel passionate about something you read or saw in the Journal? Concerned about a decision of council? Why not get it off your chest and write a letter to the editor.

It's fair to say a majority will have, and I stress "will have," a fine Christmas. For some Canadians, Christmas would not be possible without the generosity of fellow citizens.

I'll admit to grumbling about power rates, taxes, and the like. Once in a while, a good smack of reality does me good.

When I think of all the gas burned in the name of shopping, when I see huge garbage bags full of torn wrapping paper, not to mention the extra pounds gained, the rushing around, stress, no parking, and more rushing — ahhh!

While I see a lot of discredit toward God and Jesus, it may be important to remember Jesus is the reason for the season.

Maybe we don't all go to church on Sunday, but if you're going to celebrate someone's birthday, it's only fair to acknowledge the man existed. In saying that, my firm opinion is that a lot of what Christmas has become is the exact opposite of what Jesus stood for.

Has the average North American become complacent? I could see it in a way. I may take small things for granted too, no exception here. However, I didn't have to make the choice to put my child on a crowded raft, in the ocean, with no life jacket on.

In all my ranting of all that is wrong with the world, one day, a picture of a child washed ashore smacked me in the face.

We all worry about the people we already have, or jobs we don't have, or taxpayers' money this, politics that.

If it were me, I wouldn't want my child in the presence of war, famine, no food — without the basic necessities. I would want someone to give my family food, shelter — basic life.

So when I think of 25,000 refugees coming to Canada, I'm thankful those people have somewhere to go. It's a drop in the bucket to the millions who perished over the years.

I really never understood the words "in the name of the Lord" until now.

So if I seen a bit humbug at Christmas time, it's not because I'm a grinch. It's more about what is than what isn't.

I wish I could do more. It hurts when society has pushed me into a corner — showed me the dog eat dog, go against my grain. I have no money to give; I have no food to give, which makes me sad. But what I can give is compassion, understanding, hope, and love — everything that Jesus was about and the reason for the season.

 

Jonathan Swinamer,

Falmouth

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