Mom always starting asking this question around Thanksgiving every year: “What do you want for Christmas?” I miss hearing her ask that. But the question still rings in my ears. This Christmas is the 10th anniversary of Mom not being here to ask it, so I’m asking it of myself. Wanna share my Christmas list?
- I wish children would respect all elders in their lives instead of ignoring adults and what they have to say. I shudder to think that I might have done that when I was young — “if” Mom had not been there to teach me the attitude of honor. Anytime I temporarily “forgot” to say “Yes Ma’am,” or “No Ma’am” when replying to one of my Mother’s friends, Mom would “admonish” me pretty demonstratively when that friend left our home.
- Speaking of honor, I wish all Americans would honor the White House and its inhabitants, in the same way we honor all those in positions of leadership in our lives. When I was a kid there were many adults in my life I really didn’t care for. The first President I remember having any real opinion of was John F. Kennedy. He was Catholic. In our house at the time that was not a good thing. Our house supported Nixon against JFK. But after Kennedy’s election we all forgot about religious denomination and any other personal differences and fell in line with all other Americans who supported the President — ANY President — including JFK. I was in 5th grade when he was assassinated. I wept uncontrollably at school when I heard. School was cancelled and we watched his funeral in dismay for what happened.
- I wish my kids would not give my grandchildren cell phones or video games until after high school. That generation has steadily lost the art of communication with others — outside of “LOL” and “OMG,” “SMH” and “LMAO.” (Do you know what those mean? I had to ask before writing this) Rotary dial telephones were bad enough. I remember Mom’s horror when she learned what email was. “Why can’t you just write a letter?” she asked. She understood the damage losing person-to-person communication would cost. Why? Because her generation communicated with each other and not with a keyboard. Accept it or not, something always gets lost in electronic communication.
- I wish politicians — ALL politicians — would trust the intelligence of the American people enough to stop telling us “facts” that are always couched to be a narrative of political slant. Wouldn’t it be refreshing for elected public servants to simply serve their constituents with the truth? I think they do so sincerely believing Americans are too stupid to understand what they are doing. If they didn’t question American intelligence, why then would they be so stupid as to tell us the lies we hear daily expecting us to simply blow them off?
- Speaking of politicians: I wish they would simply perform the tasks for which they campaign and are elected. There is no need to pontificate about legislative and other governing ideas before, during, and after some of those things are implemented — just shut up and do the job! Leave it to us to determine if doing so was a good thing on their part.
- I wish political parties would be eliminated. I don’t claim to be as smart as George Washington. But President Washington warned the nation against the use of political parties specifically to prevent what our current political parties are doing to our nation. Think about this: no party official is elected by the people. But political parties hold more power than do most elected officials. That is not the way a representative republic — specifically ours — was designed to function. Our nation is the People’s nation and not vice versa.
- I wish divorce would be abolished. Divorce is the scourge of humanity that is chief sponsor of the majority of social issues Americans deal with today. Why? Divorce creates an attitude of failure within every person who becomes its victim: men, women AND children. Divorce creates an entire class of humans that are somehow less valuable and less worthy than those who have not tasted divorce. Divorce creates a class of children that almost universally feel unworthy of love, not to mention the negative perspective of marriage and of “traditional family” created among those children. When they grow up they have a scant chance of a normal family life because of their flawed family experiences. I wish socially the 50’s were back.
- I wish everyone would immediately become cognizant of their method of walking — walking through airport terminals, down sidewalks, through stadium concourses, in malls, even through crowded rooms of others. There is a good reason in the U.S. we drive down the right side of the road: to keep anyone from hitting another driver head-on. Why not do the same when we walk? How many times have you found yourself hustling between airport gates only to be blocked by six or seven people walking down the concourse side by side at half of your speed. They are ALWAYS unaware of others trying to get around to not miss a flight. The same holds true walking a mall, down city streets or at ballgames. Walking Rule #1: Walk as far to the right as you possibly can and let others pass you on the left!
- I wish people would learn to say “I love you” again. No, saying that does not necessarily mean romantic, “I want to sweep you off your feet and marry you” love. I have non-romantic people in my life that saying that to expresses my profound love, adoration, respect, and sincere concern for their lives when said. I don’t care who you are, when someone who is simply a friend or acquaintance tells you that and you know it’s meant and from the heart, it will always change your day — for the better!
- I wish people would begin to put others first in every area of life — like our parents and their parents did. We never had much in the way of fancy stuff (including fancy food) when I was growing up. And we didn’t have much food left over, either. But I remember many times Mom would not sit down to eat when we had people over, simply because she wanted to make certain our guests got plenty. I learned very young to always think about others in everything I do. I still do that and it is virtually automatic. That doesn’t come naturally. Kids must be taught that trait. Me-ism has devoured America. Too often we see and hear of young people “flying by the seat of their pants,” doing stupid stuff just because “they felt like it.”
- I wish National Media reporters and writers would return to 20th Century journalism and simply report the news: radio, television, newspaper, magazine, and web news sites. There’s an editorial page in the newspaper. I wish they’d keep their editorial comments on that page or if in a broadcast, give a disclaimer before and after an editorial is given so that Americans know “what I am about to hear/see is NOT news, but their perspective OF the news.” That formerly was the way news was presented. Now, there is NO news anywhere — simply news reporters’ personal perspectives feeding their personal agendas.
- I wish people in America and other countries would return to talking “with” each other instead of talking “at” each other. It takes at least 2 to communicate. But for communication to exist, all parties must share thoughts and ideas. Someone speaking alone is NOT communication. Too often personalities of people are destroyed by vitriolic verbal attacks from others who often do not even know how their speech damages those who are their verbal targets. Children are hearing less and less which is significantly reducing their abilities to interact with others. Let’s turn the televisions off, leave the iPhones upstairs and have dinner together and share thoughts of the day.
- I wish America would turn back to God. No matter what anybody says, our nation was founded on Godly and Biblical principles that our forefathers knew would be the only lasting building blocks of this new nation. You know what? If the nation turns back to God, many of my wishes shared above will come to pass, simply because many of them are simply fruits that grow from allowing Godly principles to direct our lives. For those who hate what I’m saying, let me ask one simple question: “What would giving it a try hurt?” As we have seen again and again in our history, we can change processes of operation. What if turning to God would destroy racism, poverty, war, elitism, and hatred? Wouldn’t it make sense to give it a try, just in case it would work? We could always go back to where we are.
My final wish today is for you: I wish you health, mercy, justice, and wonderful relationships with all those who are part of your life in the upcoming year.
Merry Christmas! You are my family. And I LOVE YOU!