As the well-known Andy Williams song goes “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. And for lots of people that is true, but for many, many others this is not the case.
We have all been witnessing, more and more frequently over the past few years, people losing their homes, starving, struggling to get affordable medical treatment, losing their basic rights to free speech and choice; the list goes on. In an era of great technological advance, that benefits us greatly in so many ways; in so many other ways it is destroying people. It is destroying the relationships that are most important to us. It is destroying the true connections that we need as people. And it is destroying our mental health.I’ve heard many discussions about how people are determining their self-worth and value from likes and shares on social media; I’ve seen people lost in scrolling through news feeds on their phones missing out on real conversations happening right beside them and I’ve witnessed people arguing with each other or about things online without any real interest in doing anything to help.Our eyes are wide open to our screens, but, in reality, they are closed tightly.
Before it’s too late, before we lose our humanity and every one of us is lost behind a screen completely alone, many of us need a reality check. What is really important to us?
Validation from people online? Escapism through social media?
Giving those people who we care about the respect of our time and attention, and creating, and (building upon) our relationships?Living in the moment, being present, and breathing in every experience, relationship and feeling, that is right there within our grasp, passing most of us by daily as we miss it completely?
Loneliness is one of today’s biggest issues, that goes unnoticed by so many. While you’re missing out on a connection with someone, someone else is crying out for it. It’s not just the elderly who are feeling lonely, so many of us are. It’s just not something most people will admit, instead preferring to make our lives look full and extravagant online for whoever is interested in looking. But what is real? What should be real?
I wrote this song out of the feelings that arose from these types of problems I see daily. I love Christmas, it’s my favourite time of the year. The end of the year where I can reflect on what I have accomplished, the family come together, traditions, the lights…
But most importantly it’s the friends and family I get to see because it’s Christmas. People I may not get to see too frequently throughout the rest of the year because of everyone’s busy schedules. I care about those closest to me deeply and would do anything for them, and that is what Christmas is about. No matter what else life throws at me, I am lucky to have them. But the same cannot be said of everyone.
Not everyone has what we take for granted daily. And so, with this song and the message within, I urge you this Christmas to take a few minutes for yourself to reflect. Know what is truly important to you and show those that you care about that you care about them more than anything else. Because, at the end of the day, what could be more important?
And, why not go one step further, and show that you care for people you don’t even know? You don’t have to go overboard but sometimes all someone needs is a smile, a greeting, some patience. The smallest gestures can brighten up somebodies day, and in turn their Christmas.
So, in a world where we all have many, many reasons to feel stressed, alone, sad, angry, frustrated, scared and depressed, it’s always easier knowing you are not alone. Sometimes all you need is someone to be there.
If we do one thing this Christmas, make it count. And make it brighten up someone else’s Christmas xx