Category Archives: Big Picture

How Do You Open This Gift?

“What did you get?”

Ah, the thrill of the gift…to give; to receive.

For  kids, so many squeals of delight, big hugs… raw charm of unconditional warmth and security. Your loved one…with that look—the one that puts you right inside her soul…Christmas does that.

Comes and goes so quickly…makes sense though, for it is merely a reflection.

I am thankful for my gifts…Eric, Jeff, Mikala, Nick and Breanna—the five most precious children on the planet.

My healthy parents, who somehow managed to allow a wandering boy to get out and discover the world.

All those wonderful friends who care enough to have patience with all that baggage I carry around.

Of course, that incredible group of people I work with—such an eclectic mix and it all works to create another family.

Ask me what I received for Christmas last year–and all the prior times? It is not the bow topped presents or fancy bags that come to mind. In fact, I’ve forgotten most of those. Rather, it is the affirmation and renewal of the love I have already. That’s what I remember and that is what makes my heart smile this year…


Woke up to realize I’d forgot to remember this anniversary. Newspaper reminds me of the shock, anger and helplessness—not entirely unlike a hit-and-run victim. Once again, I am pissed off at the elusive cowards who reside in the barren hills, fallen cities and probably next door to some of us. Time to re-justify the wars we entered and all of the thousands of new deaths that occurred since. Well worth it, right?

Skip back a ways—1865, 1948 and then again to 1968. Respectively, those were the years that Lincoln, Gandhi and King were shot and killed by an act of violence. I’d say that during their lifetimes, each put in a few good licks and certainly furthered the cause for peace, but WTF? Seems like Hell’s idea of a good joke.

Even John Lennon, though not my idea of a peace ambassador, put the issue in a bizarre space with the famous “Bed In,” which, in its own brilliant way marketed the idea to the top of our minds—shot dead in 1980.

So, with all that recount spinning through my mind this morning, I have only one thought that makes a difference. Yeah, I’m still grittily mad and vengeful toward Al-Quaida and consider them worse than creepy germ infected cockroaches—but really…. come on! Naïve as it may be to think extremists and brainwashed murderers will ever see the light, I still hold out for a movement that will never be quashed. While my lifetime may not see it through, and recorded history may not support the idea, I believe the day will come when we are truly global and peace is not so much an option, but simply the way things are. Perhaps not in the tumultuous world of mentally disturbed folks who cannot control their behavior, but the trends I see render hope of coexistence with the rest.

That’s what I tell my children.