A gift

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“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”
― Jim Valvano

“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” ― Pierre Corneille.

Thank you for been curious enough to open this blog. I am grateful that you have joined me. It is a gift to have the technology to reach out across the world to friends and strangers alike.

So, welcome to my latest grounded view. It’s been nearly a year since I came out of the shadows from These Wings Can Fly, the previous blog site that I was connected to. It has taken time to truly understand how much of my thinking and beliefs have developed in a different direction to other blogs that were published on that site. I guess my drive is to connect with the many, rather than the few, and in a language that the many can connect with.

I am certainly rooted firmly on the ground – for that I am grateful. The danger is, when you lose sight of the ground and you believe that you are operating in a higher world, it’s a massive thump back on to the ground when you realise you aren’t. However, if you allow your roots to grow, you can reach heights that you could only dream about.

Here we are, days away from Christmas. Celebrated by many, but the reasons for celebration are varied. Of course, it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ (although I dutifully respect all religions and beliefs + non-believers).

We then have the commercial version of Christmas which has a heavy focus on giving and receiving gifts and, my favourite part, eating and drinking excessively. To be able to that is a gift in itself and for that I am humbly grateful.

And, so to the subject of today’s observations and rambling – a gift. I was involved in a discussion this morning about a “gift”. I won’t go into detail to avoid being accused of being judgemental but, as a result of that discussion, I was interested in looking up the definition of the word “gift” – “A thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.”

Thankfully, this confirmed my understanding.

A gift; a present. I always remember a quote that the Head Teacher at my son and daughter’s primary school used to use – “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” (Bill Keane).

That got me thinking about today; living the present, as it were. Do we celebrate on a daily basis the gift we have been granted – life. A good question. If I am to be honest, it’s definitely something I have lost sight of.

In previous blogs I have talked about such matters as depression, which is a challenge and something that is close to my heart. I guess, at times, that brings down a fog that stops you seeing the gift of life for what it truly is.

Once we have recognised and welcomed the gift of life that, hopefully, then allows us to consider how we can use that gift to help others. To give to others who are less fortunate – without being asked – so that they benefit.

I know I rattle on regularly about helping the homeless and I make no apology for that. For as long as I have a voice or a finger to type, I will continue talking about who we must do everything we can for homelessness to be a thing of the past. There are enough empty houses and under-used church halls for everyone sleeping on the streets to have a roof over their heads and to have a warm dry place to sleep. Those in authority have the gift NOW to make this happen.

I still look with amazement at the few who own some much and who have the gift to do so much more. I know that many of the wealth quietly contribute to charities and do give to support those less fortunate. But, equally, there are those who seek to give as little as possible, including seeking ways to reduce their tax payments, and who move their money off shore. They have the gift to do something in the present and, in turn, take away the mystery of tomorrow- making such yesterday truly is history. Am I making sense? It feels I have strayed into soap box ranting. Sorry.

“Being gifted doesn’t mean you’ve been given something. It means, you have something to give.”
― unknown.

So many people have a gift, and my dream is that they give that gift through helping others – without being asked. Giving unconditionally for the better of others. What greater gift could there be?

And, there you have it – we have been given the gift of life and I hope we can use that gift to help others. At a time of the year when so many millions of people celebrate, there are many millions more who are suffering – in the likes of Syria, Yemen, Africa, and so many places around the world. There are also so many people who live so close to us who are also suffering. Let’s use our gift to give to them. But let’s not make them ask for that gift. That’s just wrong.

And so to close, I would like to share the full lyrics to “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – the John Lennon classic. Every year, the lyrics become more and more appropriate. A true prophecy to the mess the leaders and money men have created for the population. But, we can do something about it – together. Can’t we?

“So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas (war is over)
For weak and for strong (if you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (war is over)
The world is so wrong (if you want it)
And so happy Christmas (war is over)
For black and for white (if you want it)
For yellow and red ones (war is over)
Let’s stop all the fight (now)

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas (war is over)
And what have we done (if you want it)
Another year over (war is over)
A new one just begun (if you want it)
And so happy Christmas (war is over)
We hope you have fun (if you want it)
The near and the dear one (war is over)
The old and the young (now)

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Happy Christmas”

 

Jon

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