Tis The Season- Be the Light in our World!

hairy

Ho Ho Ho!

I met an Irish school friend last week, after twenty-four years, we’ve both married, had kids and we still breathe. Her husband to my surprise and pleasure sold holes (in the ground used by cable companies.) He made a good living from holes and so continued weeks of witnessing very odd and sometimes horrific events.

#Paris is a wounded city where #U2 (best band ever) played two gigantic stadium concerts recently. The song “One” our wedding tune and “Beautiful day” make me stop and remember life as a younger sassier Chico, I smile every time I hear them. In one of the concerts, U2 invited The Eagles of Death Metal to end their show. This band had played at the Batacian Theater, less than a month ago, when 89 people were gunned down including the band’s merchandising manager. So U2, a world-renowned band gave up their concert finale to an American somewhat famous, long-time rock band that didn’t get a chance to finish their set on that tragic night.

Terrorists tried to rip into the heart of French culture, but they failed to tarnish the passion for music, sports, entertainment and food. U2 told the world that culture wouldn’t be taken down that easily, and the Paris concert crowd showed their spirits through their united voices.

Then we come to a couple with a baby and a mother, who squirrelled away pipe bombs, and guns at home as if planning a garage sale. They decided to massacre devoted Muslims and Christians that the husband worked with just before his holiday party. At my husband’s work, his colleagues asked him if they were still going to their annual conference in France after the Paris shooting, because of the perception of increased danger. Yet my children had to practice a lock down at school this past week, where teachers and kids played dead in the hope that a crazed gun slinging murderer won’t find and massacre 20 children and 6 staff, as he did in Sandyhook three years ago. I don’t want to get into the gun law debate but really America is this a safer place to live day-to-day right now? Can’t we put pressure on the government to improve gun law legislation? I just can’t fathom why everyone isn’t taking to the streets and protesting that #guns should not be that easy to obtain. Weapons of mass destruction i.e. assault rifles should not be sold to civilians period. They are not protection weapons they are brutal tools of war.

I continue rolling my eyes at Donald #Trump and his crazed outbursts about temporarily preventing Muslims from entering the US and tagging those who are here. My ten-year-old daughter keeps reminding me that one of her dear friends is a Muslim. She is the sweetest, gentlest little girl that we have the privilege of knowing. But according to Trump she needs to be logged and monitored like an outlaw, just like the communists in the 50s and the Jews before that.

The next bizarre happening is that China and India’s CO2 emissions are the highest in the world right now, but we are all responsible for poisoning our water supplies and air. Don’t we need to breath clean air to survive? I thought that was a given. Don’t we need a stable environment? Yet look at us, we still insist on using environmental poisons to clean our homes, wash our dishes, kill our perfect lawn weeds and bleach our perfect whites whiter. Do our individual needs outweigh the rest of the worlds? Thankfully the Gods of fairness and sense have been awoken after 20 years of UN negotiations, the #COP21 is an agreement on climate that focuses on keeping global warming below 2°C. This is a tiny step in the right direction even if it is very overdue.

Sorry I’m getting on my high horse, but it is the season to gather everyone and talk to them. Gently suggest that your family eat food with local ingredients that they can pronounce, and ask them to think about gun control and whether the right to bear arms should come with no amendments attached.

Think of the young father who forgave the Paris killers when his beautiful young wife didn’t return home that evening to their baby. Remember the parents of Sandyhook who are still grieving the hideous loss of their precious little ones three years later. Yet these horrors don’t seem to move people to action.

So I’m writing a blog about my confusion, is that enough? Writing is something I have a little knowledge of. I hesitate to say that it might be considered a strength of mine and I’m going out on a slight limb by writing about something so serious, when I’m normally trying to be upbeat and inspiring. Yet I believe in humanity and a universal change in attitudes. I want terrorists, who are a small minority of extremists, to stop winning hearts and minds. The presence of a certain small-minded, big-mouthed politician, who incites fear, racism and hatred, must be rejected. Over one million people in the UK have signed a petition to ban #Trump from the country. I’m just saying. I want to spread love, hope and positive, fearless messages, not suffocating fear-filled threats and accusations.

Let this holiday season be a thoughtful and far-reaching time to reconsider our actions at home and question our acceptance of events that are completely abhorrent and should never be allowed to happen in the first place. Let activism and love be on your mind. Let us commit to being the best we can be and put our best efforts into everything we do. We will feel pride in our accomplishments and our spirits will soar higher than we ever imagined.

And have compassion for Aunty Ethel when she complains that the cat is making her sneeze and the Christmas Pudding is too chewy. She most likely has a cat allergy, and she may have some dental work pending. Give her a little compassion, an anti-histamine and a hug.

Most importantly set yourself up for realistic expectations (that might well have to change) at this stressful time of year and give yourself some love, a time-out, a walk, a drink of cocoa, something stronger, while you lock yourself in the bathroom, so that you can be the quiet in the raging storms of the Holiday spirit.

Happy Jingling and Debating. If all else fails listen to Adele’s latest song, it’ll keep everyone happy! This SNL skit is hilarious: https://youtu.be/e2zyjbH9zzA just copy and paste into your browser.

xmas car

Be the Light in our fragile World!

 

Tell me about your Holiday experiences. I love to find out how everyone else copes with the juggling, the meal prep and the mountain of laundry and not forgetting Aunt Ethel’s allergies. Kisses x

 

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About Jackie Cartwright

Jackie Cartwright spent her childhood in Northern Ireland, during the Troubles, in a farming town called Limavady, where “Northern Branches” takes place. She is a former English and Theatre Studies high-school teacher, who attended Leeds and Oxford University. She taught in London for five years, finishing as a Department Head. She has worked as an Assistant Director for successful British TV dramas such as “Daylight Robbery”, and dabbled as a radio presenter for an English hospital radio. This novelist ‘wanna be’ lives in New York with her husband, a hungry Guinea Pig, five goldfish and two small kids. She fell in love with the U.S.A while working at a Summer Camp in Maine and during a semester at Ripon College Wisconsin as part of her B.A. She is active in several local not-for-profit organizations, acting as a mentor at Women Care and as the leader of the Westchester Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network for four years. She adores volunteering for WNYC New York Public Radio and is an active PTA member. Jackie partners with the Sound Shore Writers Group in Rye, and has attended several writing courses at Sarah Lawrence and Gotham Writers Workshop. She teachers writing when she finds the time. On her Tumblr blog, www.egotasticearthmom@tumblr.com, Jackie shares her Irish wit, a passion for writing, and holistic parenting. “Northern Branches” is her debut novel.
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