Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Christmas to All

Although it's a day or two early, I won't be near a computer on The Day, so I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the readers of this blog a happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

'Behold' seems to be catching on in a lot of places—not always in the context or with the meaning discussed in this blog! This morning I came across a Time magazine article on the Winter Solstice that began with 'Behold!' Curious how the word is appearing more frequently in secular contexts than religious ones!

On a darker note, today's news carries many articles decrying food poverty in Britain. Food banks of necessity are springing up everywhere, even in the conclaves of the rich such as the Cotswolds. Of course the conservative politicians who have brought about what doctors are calling a malnutrition emergency refuse even to address the issue, to answer questions, or, worst of all, to do anything about the crisis they have created with benefit cuts, with brutal reassessments of very sick and disabled people that designate them as able to work when clearly they cannot.

With the rise in technology and increasing dependence and isolation of people hooked on gadgets, the world seems to be reverting to a level of cruelty that so-called progress was supposed to have eliminated. To the contrary, the levels of callous indifference seem to be escalating at a geometric pace. As one article put it, the politicos are bandying the praise of deficit reduction, and ignoring the cries of pain and destitution, of adults and old people starving because their benefits have been cut, because the iniquitous 'bedroom tax' has forced many people from their homes. For those who don't know what this is, it is a tax on empty rooms in social housing, so that even if someone is disabled and needs a spare room for medical equipment, they are grievously taxed because someone isn't sleeping there. Evidently the Tories want working people to be crammed into housing like sardines, while the rich rattle about in absurdly large mansions. And it should also be mentioned that what little housing is being built often has rooms far smaller than the recommended minimum for human welfare.

So let us pray this Christmas that a miracle will take place: that the conservative ideologists will somehow be confronted with the nightmare they are creating. I cannot help but think of the scene in Dickens' Christmas Carol  when the Ghost of Christmas Present opens his cloak to reveal the skeletal children who are named Want and Ignorance. 'Beware them,' says the spectre. They are of greater danger to Britain than any external threat.

The warning has been echoed by the wild weather of the last few days, and the forecast for more destruction and chaos in the run-up to Christmas, the effects of climate change. Always we seem to wake up much, much too late, and, as of this writing, the number of those awake and aware seems to grow ever smaller.

Someone (not the first time) the other day, only half-joking, called me a Cassandra.  But I hope and pray that we all will open our eyes and look in our hearts this Christmastide, with the resolve that the New Year will see changes, big changes, in the way we live our lives and care for one another.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And remember the lie: "We're all in this together" ....

And here in Belfast we're being bombed again in the run up to Christmas, we have heightened security on our roads and our political masters cannot agree even about which pieces of cloth should fly from poles on buildings ....

Merry Christmas


8:19 pm, December 22, 2013  
Blogger changeinthewind said...

The birth of Jesus IS a welcome celebration of Light ness. even when otherwise seems all too dark.

This does not change!

Merry Christmas Maggie.


7:04 pm, December 23, 2013  

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