| by Victor Cherubim
( December 12, 2013, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Christmases past, strike a noticeable pattern of harmony and balance, at least in our imagination. The hope that at Christmas time, a subtle balance between wants and needs of mankind, is possible, through giving. It is in finding contentment with what we have, rather than what we don’t. What matters is in sharing what we have, with those who do not have. In other words, we can have anything we want, but not everything we want. Happiness thus comes from managing our expectations, as well as the expectations of those without.
Over the decades
Our assessment over recollect-able time, the “Swinging Sixties, “followed by the “disco fever “of the “Seventies,” from the invention of the mobile, to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Christmas time has always been one of excitement. Whilst in the “Eighties,” there was a decade of continuous change across the globe, which did little to dampen our celebration. In the “Nineties, “the engines of change” had overtaken our estimation of change. As we fast forward to the Millennium and the “Twenty Tens,” we observe that these decades seem to have been peppered with down to earth reality, with the bank crisis, collapse of confidence, with an inordinate amount of twists and turns, of strange and even wonderful events, but leaving us with a budget Christmas.
As we now recall, through the open lens of the social media, we are experiencing at first hand, the curiosity of people, places, as well as politicians, taking mundane moments of this history and magnifying them, making them both provocative and even boldly innovative, at the same time. Christmas time this year, we observe that despite the fierce political and economic roadblocks of injustice and poverty almost surrounding ,perhaps suffocating, it is yet a time of relaxing and rejoicing in hope for the future.
A time to rejoice
When we hear the lyric by Cliff Richard first sung at Christmas 2007, now over again, we wonder:
“It’s Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
Children singing Christian rhyme
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see”
“It’s a time for giving, a time for getting
A time for forgiving and for forgetting
Christmas is love, Christmas is peace
A time for healing and fighting to cease”
The incredible thing of living in this zig zagg world of ours, juggling with so much strangeness, so much change, so much uncertainty, unemployment, unforgiving, so much manmade disaster, so much natural environmental disaster, the sheer volume of bold innovation that Christmas brings, is strangely beautiful.
We can count our blessings, that the more we are challenged, the more we seek to try, to be responsible, and to be responsive. This it seems, fuels our imagination to drive us forward.
Time and Speed
Sri Lanka in particularly, has had to cope with near thirty years war, with the tsunami, with the world balling at us, with the two perils we have had difficulty eradicating from our lifestyle. The two governing concerns being Time and Speed.
We are trying to be daring in our ambition, in a hurry to create a Singapore out of Sri Lanka. The more we see cracks of conscience emerging in Singapore after forty odd years of serenity, our hope of turning Sri Lanka around become achievable, but we enough time. Could it be because we leave time to be measured by others, not by ourselves?
Needless to mention, we are always in a hurry. We walk in a hurry, at breakneck speed, escalating between never enough time, to do all the things we have to do. We are accused of not doing enough at reconciliation. We are either too slow in finishing our tasks at healing our wounds of war. We are thus challenged to strengthen our sense of purpose.
The message down the Ages
The world outside is putting up walls as a testing time to help us define our priorities. But,
the message from Christ, to Lord Buddha and through all the teachers, since time began has been: “Face your fears, don’t indulge in guilt and regret.”
The truth we seek lies within us and not outside. As humans, we are endowed naturally with hope and compassion to make our journey more comfortable. We know that none other than ourselves have the power to reconcile.
Likewise, as Albert Einstein, maintained: “speed and time are related”. The Theory of Relativity states:”the faster we move, the quicker time flies”. If we really understand this theory, we too can maintain the equilibrium, the balance through the charm, the grace and the imagination that Christmas brings and use intuition, perception and self awareness “to face our fears” with dignity.
Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, stilton and stollen, brandy butter and mince pies, stuffed turkey, chicken kievs, mozzarella sticks and Margherita calzones, are some of our luxuries we have on our menu, in England this year. But though many may not have heard of these goodies in Sri Lanka, we can of course show the world that by taking control of our destiny, by delivering on time and slowing the pace of life, we can control the clock and still have a “Merry Christmas”.