Some Simple After-Christmas Wishes

Here are my after-Christmas wishes for you, dear reader…

May your life be blessed as mine has been…
In fact, may all your children live to become adults.
May you love them as adults.
And may you care for your grandchildren because…they’re still alive.

None of them drank dirty dysentery water and died…
None of your four year olds caught measles and died, like they still do in Africa…

May you all love your children as much as that woman in Somalia does whose baby died of malaria because all the cheap new wonder drugs were somewhere else…

When your kids get sick, may there be a good doctor and good medicine somewhere nearby…

May your children never be brain damaged because you never heard of iodized salt. And you couldn’t buy any anyway because there was no iodized salt in a hundred miles…

And may all your children learn to read and write and do arithmetic. If they decide to go to college, may you have a decent university in your land and may you be able to pay the fees…

May your children never be raped and beaten by a brutal stepfather or left to go hungry by an uncaring stepmother because you were blown up by a mine when you walked across the meadow…

May none of your daughters have to choose prostitution so they can feed their children…

And here’s my Christmas wish for all of us…

May each one of us in the rich countries, the overweight countries, the properly insured countries…
may we wake up, stand up, reach out, stand out, lend
a stupid hand, a clumsy hand, a trying to hand, a soft hand, any kind of hand,
whatever I can do, whatever you can dream up, a boring idea will work,
but a helping hand… a little band for the wretched ones
who never heard of KIVA,
whose homes were blown up by the Islamacists, the supremacists, the pragmatists, the takers, the fakers, the deliverers with guns in their quivers and hate in their livers,
the grabbers, the stabbers, the strong who grow stronger because they took it all and the weak ones got none…

I’m sitting her in my comfortable warm bungalow with Joanie Baez whispering, “Show me the famine, show me the frail eyes with
no future that show how we failed,
And I’ll show you the children with so many reasons why,
There but for fortune, go you or I”….
and now Carly Simon comes on singing,
“I’ve got to learn from the greats,
Earn my right to be living,
With every breath that I take,
Every heartbeat, And I — I want to get there
I — I want to be one, one who is touched by the sun,
One who is touched by the sun…

and I…just an ordinary…barnyard variety pig…feel like…I..might…want to be touched by the sun too!

God, I pray that for all of us this day.

Photo by Y.K. Lee. Nduli, Western Cape, South Africa, 2002

 

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