In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize and what it symbolizes, there should be one awarded to those nations and political leaders that have been, and continue to be, complicit in helping the vaunted Nobel Peace Prize, for whatever its worth, lose its glitter.
It’s time to seriously consider such a yet-to-be-named prize. The Nobel thing is simply not living up to its billing…
How so? Simply because for generations and all those years I have been living and hearing about (and coming to understand) the significance of the “prize” there hasn’t been any peace to think of. And at this time every year, the appellation Nobel Peace Prize becomes more cogent and dubious as military conflicts rage, political-nationalism is on the rise, economic disparity impacts many, all of which lend to a host of other problems…
The world has been in the throes of a peace deficit for years. So the day after Halloween, and Christmas decorations gradually begin to appear in storefronts and shopping centers, followed by the ubiquitous sounds of seasonal songs and carols, the inevitable Joy To The World catches my ear. And then there’s that “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to man” (and woman, I guess).
Come December, with Christmas season setting in and many to most people catching the bug, [my] reality sets in and, given that Nobel Peace Prize that’s awarded annually, I begin to wonder: Where’s the peace…?
Living in parts of the world where people are consumed by everything Christmas, taking that long global view where things are unsettled, or more to the point, tumultuous, is easy. But the iconic Temptations highlighted that reality (musically) many years ago when they vividly sang… described the state of the world back then: “Ball Of Confusion, that’s what the world is today…”
It was when they made that song; it’s worse today.
I love news, so for months, indeed years, I’ve been watching all the madness unfolding in various parts of the world, to put in/night we check the news images of death are inevitable. There way over there—far from where we live—But anyone with a heart and soul must feel for those people who are suffering in different parts of the world as the Carols continue to play Joy To The World…
But Joy is having a difficult time settling in, in some places. And there’s also no peace or goodwill.
Syria comes to mind; that’s where most of the horrific images on the daily/nightly news have been emanating. For going on six years we watched as a country, engaged in bloodshed and human carnage, especially Aleppo, which has been essentially destroyed.
Somewhere along the way in that protracted bloodletting in Syria, goodwill has evaporated; images of human suffering and carnage are the evidence. No joy in that part of the world.
Last Sunday, December 18, I listened to CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup. The subject was the Syrian civil war. Callers had their say, those who have swallowed the mainstream Western media narratives, and others who look to (one hopes, credible) alternative sources for information about that regional, geopolitical, proxy crisis.
One caller caught my ear, a Syrian refugee now living in Canada. As she watches things unfold in her mother country she says both Western and other countries are complicit in stoking the fire (hatred, bloodshed, human carnage and destruction) in Aleppo in particular. And she eloquently made her point(s).
We’ve seen the horrific images coming out of Syria in that protracted civil war, especially Aleppo.
“It goes beyond Bashar al-Assad,” that woman said. “Both sides of the conflict are equally to blame… Where are the weapons coming from?” she asked rhetorically.
Another Syrian, one Monther Etaky, a 28-year-old graphic designer living in the besieged city of Aleppo, wrote in a newspaper dated Wednesday, December 14, wrote on social media: “There’s a problem with this planet. This planet does not want people to live free, or like humans.”
Given his circumstances, his post was a message to those out here, some of whom might be paying attention to the “madness” seemingly without end that has been playing out in Syria.
Just like last year and the one before that, the mayhem continues in faraway places, which give reason to the arms manufacturers and dealers to continue their bang-up business. Joy to the world! All those workers in armament factories who help sustain those conflicts around the world will be having a wonderful Christmas (along with bonuses for another good year of producing weapons of human destruction). They will be forever employed—and complicit.
Joy to the Western and Christian world!
I had a brief conversation with a friend south of the border and asked him how he will be celebrating Christmas. He paused for a few seconds then said, “You know what, I haven’t given it much thought.”
Then he continued, “I’m not in the mood. It’s just too much hassle. All that hustle and bustle…”
We talked a little more then he told me about a friend of his who died a couple years ago after battling cancer for some time.
“The guy was hard-working, had a few properties, and lots of money…” he told me.
He said in that man’s final months and days he would help him out as much as he could.
He said the man once told him, “I’ll give everything I have for good health.“
Money and wealth are not necessarily bosom buddies.
That day my friend wasn’t feeling Christmas – yet, but I’m thinking right about now he’s priming for a merry one.
Christmas, Peace and Goodwill… welcoming and embracing others… such were the sentiments expressed by the guest preacher during last Sunday’s sermon at Union United Church.
At the end of the service I had to greet and compliment her on that “lovely sermon.” But I hastened to remind her that with all the madness going on in the world she has a lot of work to do. She agreed. I didn’t want to take up her time; others were waiting to greet her.
Peace on Earth… Joy To The World… Those Christmas songs should be pulled from every play list until peace, goodwill to man truly reigns supreme.
Stevie Wonder’s “Someday At Christmas” (even Justin Bieber does a version). Something about “men won’t be boys playing with bombs like kids play with toys…” Peace on earth and goodwill to men… Peace and goodwill to all mankind…
It’s ironic that there’s a Syrian connection to Christmas, with reference to one Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.
“And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on Earth, peace to men of good will.”
But where are the noble, Nobel peacemakers among the warmongers?