As we approach the last few days of 2016, the Winter Solstice draws near and will take place tomorrow on Wednesday December 21st. We’re also, of course, coming up to Christmas, the Christian Festival of Lights, and a new year looms on the horizon. The Solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of the year and marks a turning point in the orbit of the Earth when it tilts on its axis and shifts its angle more towards the sun. From this moment on, we can begin to see the sun gradually climb higher and higher in the sky thereby little by little dispelling the long dark days of winter. For centuries, this has been cause for celebration for its welcome sign of rebirth and the coming of spring.
Christmas as we all know, is a celebration of the birth of Jesus who is seen not only as Our Saviour but also as “The Light of the World”. His teachings are infused with the need for all human beings to give and share LOVE, to learn and demonstrate compassion and understanding, and to practice tolerance and avoid judgemental thoughts and behaviour. These are all things that our world could do with a lot more of at the moment, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
So now is the time to remember the real reasons for celebration over the next twelve days which cover Solstice, Christmas and New Year. Whether your spiritual leanings are based on organised faith religions or a synthesis of different beliefs and understandings which you have made into your own over the years, this is a time of gathering and being with family and friends. Now is the time when we can show our love and appreciation for others with any gifts we may have bought; show care and compassion through random acts of kindness; and give thanks for the good things in our lives. But most importantly, it’s an ideal time to find that place of peace and LOVE within ourselves.
With this in mind, I’d like to share some wisdom from two different sources for you to ponder upon over the coming days. Firstly I’m going to quote words spoken by the legendary Native American, Black Elk, Medicine Man and Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux Tribe
The True Peace
The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people
When they realise their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers,
And when they realise that at the centre of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (The Great Spirit),
And that this centre is really everywhere, it is within each of us.
This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.
The second peace is that which is made between two individuals,
And the third is that which is made between two nations.
But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations
Until there is known that true peace which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.
Black Elk, Oglala Sioux & Spiritual Leader
The second set of quotes I’d like to offer you were written by Bob German https://www.facebook.com/YoungAtAnyAge/
The time is now ……for us average citizens to come together like never before with courage and conviction, to become willing agents for social change. It matters not what political party you favour, what you are or your economic status
….to rid ourselves of indifference
The time is now ….for all of us to use goodness and loving kindness as our power for peace and equality for everyone
…..to quit complaining and criticising about what’s happening and instead turn that energy to action by doing good things even while others may be doing bad things
The time is now …..for each of us to step up and do something ….anything….to support fellow human beings in our cities and towns who are being discriminated against, harassed, wronged, exploited, enslaved, at–risk, violated, vulnerable or victimised
….for each of us to be a safety net for all those who are scared
The time is now……to gather collectively and individually to reach out and help people who are suffering and in need of allies.
…..to be the light of the world that is often very dark for those who are deemed “different” in the eyes of some.
The time is now…..for compassion, doing good and choosing to LOVE in every instance.
Take a little time over the next couple of weeks to think about how you can – as Gandhi said – ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’, and resolve to keep on doing it! Remember, we can help to bring about changes in the world by changing ourselves. Everything – the big and the little things (and all the ones in-between) – starts within!