Some Traditions Do Matter

The movies Don’t Look Up and Killers of the Flower Moon, written with different plots, their premises are the same: greed for power, resulting in the destruction of people.

The end of the 2023 playbook mirrors a sadness and destruction with wars, political toxicity, and an up close and personal view of climate twisting, tossing, and throwing weather changes as if the gods are playing a game of tennis.

I wondered long after I’m gone, how many people would stand in this exact spot?

Adding to the end of the year are, for many, unfinished projects, friends not contacted because of busy schedules, unresolved family disagreements, and an uncertainty of what the new year will bring.

A question:  If time was known to be coming to an end, what would be a priority? Would it be stockpiling money, would modern day warlords’ stubbornness finally find peace, or would cultures band together for resolutions to save all mankind and this planet?

Living in Europe has given a different perspective on life, one that settles well with me. While the EU is drenched in its unique set of issues and problems, there appears a common goal to work together and react with proactive resolutions. Even as there are a few EU countries out of sync with their neighbors on governing policies, overall, the majority’s ideal is steady—nothing is resolved for the betterment if the pendulum swings too far to the right. For example, the higher percentage of affordable electric vehicles manufactured and sold in Europe far exceeds the US.

Nothing is divided by oceans and continents; we’re all hoping a better future is left behind for the next generations. Yet, we see platforms like X, formally Twitter, comfortable with permissible falsehoods and pitting people against each other by igniting fear. What happened? How did society sink to a dilemma where it’s okay to fight over land, snuff out life over control for power, or run a country based on extremist minority views?

I was overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the sky was mixed with more grey than blue clouds. A storm was looming. I thought how small and insignificant I seemed pitted against this vast ocean.

I was overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the sky was mixed with more grey than blue clouds.  A storm was looming. I thought how small and insignificant I seemed pitted against this vast ocean. I wondered long after I’m gone, how many people would stand in this exact spot? Would life be different in a good way or a so bad that being outside was dangerous? Would good be the new bad, and bad be the new good?

Christmas is saturated in festive dinners, decorated trees, carols sung, gatherings with friends and family, gift exchanges, and higher church attendances—maybe it’s okay embracing and holding on to these traditions as a way of finding some normalcy—in a time when what was normal has increasingly become lost.

Christmas is saturated in festive dinners, decorated trees, carols sung, gatherings with friends and family, gift exchanges, and higher church attendances---maybe this it’s okay embracing and holding on to these traditions as a way of finding some normalcy---in a time when what was normal has increasing become lost.

Joy, Peace, and Love

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Zoe Robinson
Zoe Robinson
2 months ago

So well said and written dear Cheryl, Thank you.

Phillip Lott
Phillip Lott
2 months ago

That was good reflective story Cheryl, I liked it.

Donna Pizzi
2 months ago

Your wisdom is always refreshing, especially because you can voice it in words that provoke thought about one’s own life and the global dilemmas that ratchet up sometimes by the hour. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and helping us who read them to contemplate our own. Our Brazilian co-pastor gave us a challenge for Advent by taking the word and dividing it into two verbs: Add & Vent… Then she pondered words, sayings and quotes about Peace, asking us to cut up her 2-sided layout, oneside active words to create PEACE and the other a quote. Today, I chose one by Eleanor roosevelt: “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. and it isn’t enough to beilieve in it. One must work at it.” The active words she chose for this quote are “Believe PEACE!” I do. And clearly so do you.

Donna Pizzi
2 months ago

And I got chills reading your beautiful, thought-provoking response. God Bless you and your talent to express wordly ways to shift our focus to the positive and to what MIGHT be DONE in the name of PEACE. Amen! Dearest Friend.

LINDA MOORE KURTH
2 months ago

You have an interesting global perspective versus that of many of us in the United States. Sometimes it’s hard not to despair, but we must cling to the good and do what we can to grow that good.

Steve Durham
Steve Durham
2 months ago

Dear Cheryl,

Life is hard. No doubt about it. And it’s frustrating, alarming, discouraging, and every other negative word we can think of. Despite what goes on around us, and at times, inside us, we have been given the gift of life with the duty to make those in our lives and who touch our lives, even if momentarily, a little better. Even if just for a moment. A humorous word with a store clerk, a congratulations to a friend, a hug for a loved one — these add up to a better world.

I can’t control what Hamas and Israel do nor can I stop the sniping between Republican and Democratic politicians, but I can make my part of the world a better place for people to live in. Work for peace or any other cause that benefits people in general, but make sure your nest is filled with love.

Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year!

Steve