Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/20/2021
Well, Christmas is here on Saturday. In a rare trip away during the holidays, we’ll be in LA meeting our newest granddaughter for the first time. We’ll celebrate Christmas at Midnight Mass at a church near our hotel on the 24th. We have a lot to be thankful for.
No one knows when Christ was actually born. December 25th is an arbitrary date that was already in use for certain celebrations. In fact, we have the slimmest evidence, historically, that Christ existed. But St. Paul was a prolific writer about Christ and those times, having been converted from a virulent anti-Christian zealot on that famed Road to Damascus. Of course, some scholars believe he merely had an epileptic fit, not an epiphany.
This isn’t a religious exegesis. It’s none of my business whether anyone believes in God or not. I do get somewhat disturbed when people are condemning of religion, as if adherents are somehow inferior intellects. It’s part of the moral narcissism of our times. To use the cliché, some people I truly respect happen to be atheists. Conversely, don’t get all bent out of shape if you happen to see a prayer or mention of God in public. (And you’d better not read what’s on our currency.)
In this “gift-giving season” (as some progressives have termed it), our family has decided not to exchange gifts (except for the kids) and instead contribute more to charity. I suggest that the gifts we all give to others include tolerance, understanding, compromise, and forgiveness. We can be imperfect about that, since perfection is, I know, beyond me at least. But we can at least try because these qualities are too often sucked away into the vacuum of self-interest and selfishness.
Maria and I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Glorious Festivus, Wonderful Time with Family, or whatever you celebrate. As I look around, I don’t need an epiphany on the Road to Damascus to realize how fortunate you and I are.
Health, peace, and prosperity to you and yours. Now and forever.
Yes, but who made the laws?
—Albert Einstein on the fact he had discovered universal laws
A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.
—The Gospel of Mark, 6:4 (This admonition sits on my desktop.)