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Why not keep good times coming

Why does Chri­stmas come only once a year? It is like a much-awaited convoy of deliveries during war. At a time of dire need we live in hope our prayers will be answered.

In politics it is as if there are no truths, as if bad intentions pervade every deed
- Lino Spiteri

At a time when life’s worries beset us mercilessly, we hope and pray that they will be resolved.

At a time when so many negatives swirl around us, we pray and hope that the blackness will be broken and that a gentle white light will seep through.

And somehow, even if we do not believe in miracles, much of what we hope and pray for happens.

At least the feeling that it does develops within us. Even in the battered war zone of politics, a truce is called and for a few days the crossfire stops. Amazingly, our political leaders, the rest of the year roaring like lions and endlessly at each other’s throats, tell us that after all we are united.

That all of this changes or takes place over the Christmas period is welcome. That the mysterious relaxation happens year after year is itself a miracle.

But, I always ask myself at this time of year, why does it have to be like this? Why don’t we learn from it all throughout the year that it is not all negative, that positives exist and can be exploited?

The poor do not suddenly become that around Christmas time. We have the poor for always with us; the Master himself told us that. Why can’t we try to help them always as well?

In this regard, at least, we Maltese score well. We are egoists and egotists in many senses of the world. But we are a giving people and kindness towards those in need is shown all the year round.

But when it comes to what should be a simple matter, treating each other decently all the year round, we seem to be different people.

Little hurts are never forgotten or forgiven. Enmities are fanned without rest. Judgement is passed on others as if we are entitled to throw the first stone and a ton of bricks following it.

Our tongues wag ceaselessly. Bad news is passed from one mouth to the other faster than the online and other media manage it with all their new­fangled technology.

We find it easy to think ill of other people. The worst thought is the first thought that enters our mind.

All this happens in all walks of life. In politics it takes on a worse degree.

Everything one side says is twisted by the other side. It is as if there are no truths, as if bad intentions pervade every deed.

Why cannot some sifting be made to show, all the year round, that politicians can be correct sometimes in the eyes of the other side?

One might say that all this is true the world round. And that, of course, is true. But need that be an excuse for some change in our attitudes the rest of the year besides Christmas.

It behoves the leaders at all levels of our society to think that thought and keep it in mind.

Starting with families, parents can resolve to set their children better examples. Business people can be fairer with their customers. Priests can preach more positive conclusions, translated into today’s metaphors. Workers can give a better service. Employers can treat their dependents more fairly.

And politicians, those blessed politicians whose words and actions take up so much of our attention and time, can surely give us a better example by the way they speak, criticise and generally do things.

Christmas comes only once a year. That does not mean we must forget goodness and correct actions the rest of the year. We’re the same people.

* * *

To the editor and staff, to my readers and others my best wishes for serenity, health and hope that go far beyond the limits of the Festivities.

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