Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rotary Invocation - December 9 2014

A Christmas Wish

Why do we need the Holidays to be in the holiday spirit?  Why do we need the Season to wish each other season’s greetings?

Shouldn’t we be well-wishing and good-spirited all year?

The good work of Gleaners and the Salvation Army are especially important at Christmastime.  But aren’t people hungry every day?  Don’t people need a place to stay, freedom from fear and protection from abuse during the other eleven months a year?  Don’t children want to believe in Santa every day?

Our attention is claimed by so many priorities, so often, by so many urgent causes – some near and dear, some merely annoying interruptions.  The great malady of our day is attention deficit disorder.   We have so much to pay attention to that we can’t pay attention to anything.

But paying attention is exactly what we need to do.  Whether you are rich or poor, a captain of industry or looking for a job, you have exactly the same attention to pay as the person sitting next to you and the same as everyone else on the planet.

And Christmas is the time when, for a little while, for a part of the world at least, our tradition is to pay a little more attention to each other – to loved ones, family and friends, but also to those who, for the rest of the year, we may not pay any attention to at all.

Practice paying attention this holiday – but don’t stop.   You’ll get better at it if you try!  Use the rest of Winter to practice.  By Spring you ought to be pretty good!  Keep at it through the Summer and Fall and before long you may find that you’ve been paying attention to other people for a whole year!

And when the thought of how to account for all that attention you’ve been paying occurs to you, I hope you find that you have even more to pay.  Like a checking account that grows larger the more you use it.

We all need to pay more attention to other people in this world.  I believe it is the source of goodness and charity and change for the better.  And it doesn’t need to just happen during the holidays.  The people you pay attention to will value it any day, in any season.

That is the true spirit of Christmas and my Holiday wish for us all.