By ALDWIN QUITASOL
Peace is no mere matter of men fighting or not fighting. Peace, to have meaning for many who have known only suffering in both peace and war, must be translated into bread or rice, shelter, health, and education, as well as freedom and human dignity – a steadily better life. If peace is to be secure, long-suffering and long-starved, forgotten peoples of the world, the underprivileged and the undernourished, must begin to realize without delay the promise of a new day and a new life. — Ralph J. Bunche
This Christmas, the world will celebrate the widely believed to be the day of the birth of the saviour of mankind, Jesus Christ. Many people will again go to the malls, parks, beaches, leisure parks and other places to spend their holidays. Merry making will fill the scenery inside the houses and in the streets. New clothes, shoes, toys, money gifts will be enjoyed by those who hcan afford to have it.
But while many people are in euphoria for whatever they achieve for the year 2009, the poorest people of the poor countries like the Philippines of course are waiting for people to give them even crumbs. Children of poverty roam the streets to beg for alms from those who care or those who do not care at all. While many will enjoy their noche buena on Christmas, hungry and homeless families will just stare at the blinking christmas lights along the streets and sleep their hunger out there.
Its the season of the year when we jubilate if we have something to jubilate for as a year again passed. People say we have to reflect for the things we have done for the good or bad of our life and the lives of our fellow. Most people say they will make resolutions for the next year to come.
Now can we jubilate as more and more people grow hungry in all the days of the year and for sure next year. Should we celebrate? Yes of course, it’s christmas. But lest we forget those who have nothing to celebrate for, the children of the workers who lost their jobs because of anti-people contractualization scheme enhanced by the anti-labor policies of the government.
We must also reflect on the deeds we did for ourselves or what we did for our neighbors and countrymen. Did we give a damn for the plight of the poor? Did we ever shout or join the call to end poverty? Did we ever count ourselves in the clamor to demand justice for those who are victims of injustice? Did we ever unite with others in asking the abductors alleged to be state agents to surface their victims who happened to be living the true service to the people?
Did we ever have the compassion to understand why there are workers holding strikes because they like to be recognized as humans and demand livable wage and respect of their labor rights? Did we ever have the guts to be with the rest of the people in condemning the killings? Did we ever shout enough of corruption, down with the tyrant, end this rotten system? Did we ever give a damn? Maybe yes or maybe no, its up to us.
Can we make a resolution to be with our people, helping the poor, demand justice, condemn the killings and enforced disappearances, ask for a true wage hike? Can we have the guts to be with the people in longing for a social change where every Christmas, there will be joy in every heart of not only the few but everybody. There will be nochebuenas for everybody.
This Christmas season of the year, this coming New Year, there’s something to be celebrated for, as long as we care for the Christmas and New Year of others.# nordis.net