April 23, 2017

Peace on Earth

• By John F. Chisholm •

I send more than one hundred Christmas cards. I’m a big believer in Peace on Earth.

Wait! While I’m confessing, there’s more. I have to admit that receiving a Christmas card without an enclosed note fills me with zero holiday warmth or good fellowship. That’s right. None. Zip. Nada. Nil. In fact, the fanciest, most costly embossed card in the world wishing, “The Merriest of Holiday Seasons from Robert and Beverly Johnson” without a personalized note enclosed does nothing for me.

In like manner, a Xeroxed newsletter bragging about the world cruises the Johnsons may have enjoyed last year is completely ineffective at warming my heart.

I can’t believe that I’m alone in this perspective. Surely everyone has a relative or acquaintance who forwards a standardized brag sheet indicating that life never rains on their parade? I hate to pick on Bob and Bev but judging from their Christmas newsletter having a son doing 10 to 15 in San Quentin for terrorizing is an exciting, enviable and marvelous occurrence:

“Meanwhile, Bob Junior has had an explosive year. He’s investigating a career in license plate manufacture as part of an all-expenses-paid scholarship program in The Golden State.” Etcetera, etcetera and so on.

If you hadn’t learned through the grapevine what actually occurred, you’d never guess the facts from their homogenized, one-blurb-fits-all rendition, would you?

So what’s the point here?

I can’t be a hypocrite. Life demands reality. I write over one hundred separate Christmas letters to go in each of my Christmas cards. I tell the truth.

Whoa! Who does that? Who has the time?

I do. Really. I make the time as a matter of principle.

If you truly want to convey worth, meaning and warmth to others while receiving the same yourself, you have to write your friends individually, say what you truly feel and mean it, too.

What’s the matter with ‘I love you’? Sure, it’s a little awkward but if you’re sincere you’ll be forgiven.

It’s no coincidence that absolutely critical and inescapably vital to Peace on Earth is individual worth, meaning, warmth and love.

So mean it. Put away your pride, admit that you’re human, too, and include everyone in your embrace. Even Bob Junior who made that series of serious blunders.

All this being the case, I’d like to send you a personalized message, too. I mean it from my very core. To me, it’s all that makes the holiday season worthwhile.

Here goes:

Peace on Earth matters. It’s not just a printed message in a generic greeting card. It’s all that allows our survival both individually and as a species.

You matter for exactly the same reason. It’s up to you to allow peace.

As a result, you make a difference. That has to be true if I want to do the same.

Going one step further, like you, I have to be the difference in order to make one. So, I admit it, right up front. I am different.

Surely you’re not arguing? Didn’t I just admit that I write over one hundred individual Christmas letters annually? I’m not making it up.

Truthfully, looking at it this way, I don’t send anywhere near enough Christmas letters. Forgive me, I’m human, too.

It’s crystal clear that Peace on Earth will only arrive if you help. Thousands. Tens of thousands. Millions of personal connections of individual worth are absolutely required. Start with your own holiday letters.

How else can we possibly reach everybody in time?