I’m sure you don’t remember me. The last time I wrote was just before my best friend in second grade, told me that you didn’t exist. I was horrified and when I asked my mom about it, she smiled and said my friend was right. I got mad and locked you away in a little trunk where I kept the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Way, way, way in the back of the attic.
I recently unpacked a few things from my last move, and found the tiny box I put you in so many years ago. There you were, covered with cobwebs, holding on tightly to the Tooth Fairy, and not giving the Bunny much room. I took you out, dusted you off and thought I’d bring you into my studio where I’d be able to look at you and rethink the idea of the giving of gifts and the spirit of the holidays we celebrate in December.
Yes, I know about baby Jesus and the great teacher he became. But when I got my knuckles wacked with a ruler in the religious instruction class my mom made me go to and the priest said my brothers and I didn’t exist in God’s eyes because our parents were married by a justice of the peace, I kind of gave up on all that.
Now I follow the teachings of the Buddha who never got hung up on the problem of who declared my parents married and whether or not you or I exist. I concentrate on Loving Kindness and living in the present. The Buddha has helped me see that behind every bit of darkness, there is light. That I don’t have to jump through crazy hoops to be a good person. All I really need to do is be kind and never cause harm to others. Sounds like the same kind of thing Jesus taught, but got screwed up by a bunch of people who needed control over everything and everyone. What harm does a Justice of the Peace do by declaring two people who love each other married? And what about if they are two women or two men instead of a man or a women? Who gets hurt?
I’m very discouraged by all of the hate in the world. We seem to hate for such a wide variety of reasons … for who we love, the color of another’s skin, the religion they may follow, or wanting to win an election so that those guys lose control and us guys can come up with our own rules and make everyone do what we want them to do.
So Santa, I’m asking for your help. Instead of bringing everyone all of the stuff they put on their wish lists, please give them the gift of tolerance for all of those we share our planet with. Please include kindness, the ability to share, food for those who are hungry and a job for anyone who can’t find one on their own. A roof to keep the weather out would also be a great idea.
With those kinds of gifts, everyone would begin believing in you again. And the Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and all of the other great teachers would love you and all of us too!
Joan’s Inner Child