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I publish this at least once a Christmas. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, these are universal truths.

I was given this over thirty years ago. Years ago (pre-WWW) I would make about 500 copies of this and pass them out at malls. Most people would think I'm selling something (which in a way I was) and not read it. But some --a very few-- would come find me to thank me for for what I'm sharing below.

Please pass this around. No matter what your beliefs, these are universal truths.

Merry Christmas (from an old heathen)

      What shall we give the children?

"In the long twilight of the year, the faces of the children grow luminous. Rosy with cold, arabesqued  with snowflakes, leaning into the wind, or drowsing before the fire, their eyes large, they look and listen, as if they glimpsed the peripheries of miracle or heard a soundless music in the air. From the innocent kingdom of implicit belief to that uncomfortable arena where the implacable mind battles the intractable heart, the faces of children at Christmas are lighted with visions of things to come.

         What shall we give the children?

It seems certain that they will travel  roads we never thought of; navigate strange seas, cross unimagined boundaries, and glimpse horizons beyond our power to visualize. What can we give them to take along? For the wild shores of Beyond, no toy or bauble will do. It must be something more; constructed of stouter fabric discovered among the cluttered aisles and tinseled bargain counters of experience, winnowed from what little we have learned. It must be devised out of responsibility and profound caring – a home-made present of selfless love. Everything changes but the landscapes of the heart.

        What shall we give the children?

--Attention, for one day it will be too late.

--A sense of value. The inalienable place of the   individual in the scheme of things, with all that accrues to the individual; self-reliance, courage, conviction, self-respect, and respect for others.

--A sense of humor. Laughter leavens life.

--The meaning of discipline. If we falter at discipline,   life will do it for us.

--The will to work. Satisfying work is the lasting joy.

--The talent for sharing; for it is not so much what we give as what we share.

--The love of justice. Justice is the bulwark against violence and oppression and the repository of human dignity.

--The passion for truth, founded on precept and example. Truth is the beginning of every good thing.

--The power of faith, engendered in mutual trust. Life without faith is a dismal dead-end street.

--The beacon of hope, which lights all darkness.

--The knowledge of being loved beyond demand or reciprocity, praise or blame; for those so loved are never really  lost.

      What shall we give the children?

The open sky, the brown earth, the leafy tree, the golden sand, the blue water, the stars in their courses, and awareness of these. Birdsong, butterflies, storms and rainbows. Sunlight, moonlight, firelight. A large hand reaching down for a small hand; impromptu praise, an unexpected kiss, a straight answer. The glisten of enthusiasm and a sense of wonder. O long days to be merry and nights without fear. The memory of a good home."

Attributed to Margaret Cousins, appearing in the December 1964 McCall's

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 05:02:44 PM PST

  •  How are we going to crush christmas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga, CanisMaximus, GreenMother

    under our jackboot heel's if you don't remember to say happy holiday ?

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 05:12:58 PM PST

  •  Years ago, pre WWII...... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto, rebel ga, marina

    Which my misreading stopped me cold.  

    This guy isn't old, he's OLD.  Maybe because just an hour ago I was doing a calculation about a guy who just stopped playing tennis with us.  I knew he had served in that war, so when my friend said he was in his early 80s, maybe 85, I thought he was wrong.

    But you could volunteer then at 17, so if he did in 1945 that could make him "only" as young as that.  

    I'm glad you gave those out.  Attention is what is so easily not given to children who often are another burden on a stressed Mother's life.  I don't think we ever get over that, of being a bother.

    It's a shame such a simple act of kindness as giving out your message now would be looked up with suspicion.  And from this atheist, "Merry Christmas" is just fine.

  •  Merry Christmas, Canis And Everyone. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CanisMaximus, marykk

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    Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

    by rebel ga on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 06:04:28 PM PST

  •  Love it, with one quibble. (0+ / 0-)

    Gotta disagree with the completely unsupported assertion that "life without faith is a dismal dead-end street".

    That is, shall we say, subject to debate. Faith in the invisible scary bearded guy in the sky, the doctrinal enforcer manufactured by a pre-literate iron age culture to impose some kind of meaning on a universe indifferent to our existence, is by no means a requirement for a satisfying life. If you mean instead something like faith in the fundamental goodness of our fellow human beings, well, I'd rather let the evidence speak for itself than 'take things on faith'.

    But then, my wife notes that I'm a curmudgeon. So, there's that.

    •  Being an atheist is OK (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, CanisMaximus

      Being an atheist and shaming religions and spirituality as silly and not real is not okay.
      Being a Christian is okay.
      Being homophobic, misogynistic, racist, or otherwise hateful person in the name of Christianity is not okay.
      Being is a reindeer is okay.
      Bullying and excluding another reindeer because he has a shiny red nose is not okay.

    •  Faith does not have to exist in the presence of a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, CanisMaximus

      higher power.

      Faith can be in yourself, in the better parts of humanity, in the clockwork action of the universe, in green growing things, faith is more than just what the religionists would have you believe.

      Take it back. And make it your own.

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 09:17:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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