Walking around the incredible beautiful Champs-Élysées, I don’t think the beauty of Paris in these respect is every going to stop amazing me. It’s magical, especially in those lonesome hours. Incredible spirited buildings, expressing history by just being present. It’s partly amplified during Christmas time, light emitting warmth begging for kindness to one another.
The large Christmas market, with countless merchants trying to sell their products it being cheaply produced Christmas accessories produced in China, or the good foods fitting the season. The lights dressing the sides of the road sponsored by Ikea. Samsung making clear with sign that they took part in making this possible. And at least hundreds of people attracted by it, like mosquitos to a lamp. All under present under a false spirit of Christmas.
It’s a shrill contrast however if you move away from the dressed streets. Countless homeless people, not only the classical drunkards and misfits but also young family’s mom’s with children. So many of them, all too young, far away from home. Present in a society that does not want you to be there. Children do not belong on the street, certainly not in what we perceive to be a civilized society. They sleep under the garments of the designer shops, display windows all trying to convince you to buy needless expensive gifts for your loved ones.
The contrast hurts, it’s painful in regards to human essence, so painful we walk past it like it’s not there. They are allowed to sleep there after the shops close, when the streets grow empty, but have to leave before day breaks. We know they are there. But by not being openly confronted with them we can pretend that they are not real. Figments of our imagination, stories from the old books being displayed on the TV, far away from our safe homes.
I have come to a point where I have difficulties understanding us. It’s painful to enjoy this season and at the same time seeing this happening, what could be the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War 2. We have come so far as a species, but in a state of distress we seem so far away from what we could have been, when we are tested in our true resilience we always seem to be so successful in failing. So engulfed in our selfishness so eager to believe in our own lies and forced truths. We seem in a state of paralysis. We actually stopped believing we could change the state of our society. Have we lost confidence in ourselves, are we so lost?
I don’t think we are, we just stopped looking outside using our own eyes. Feeling with our own feelings, looking into our own hearths. We use the sketched impressions of populistic politicians to frame our reality. We allow ourselves to be fooled, to be engulfed in fear that will serve as the self-induced prison we life in.
I know this reads like the story of a disappointed idealist, a cynic, but it isn’t. I won’t deny anybody a fantastic holiday season; I share in it. I like Christmas, sharing meals, joy and happiness with friends and families, but let’s not forget the real thought behind it. But what about those that sleep under our windows? In all our humbleness surely we can do more than nothing?
Remember the Christmas story, the one from one of the holy books? That story about migrants in need, escaping the cold night. Let’s not be remembered as the people who closed the doors in time of need. Who denied a warm meal to those needy of it, indulging ourselves in greed. How will future generations look back at us? How will future you look back at this time, how your current character contributed with his or her passive attitude.
Let’s be realistic, honest, but most important of all let us be kind-hearted to one another, show signs of humanity. If we can’t do that, what does Christmas imply, what does it stand for, what do we stand for? It will be nothing other than a hollow cold shell, its spirit left. Bring the essence into Christmas, the essence into being human, what could distinguish us from the more primal us.
Together we can achieve greatness. Alone we are just that; alone. Do not look away, look at it, do not ignore reality. Induce change with the smallest acts of kindness.
I wish you all a great sincere holiday season and all the best for the new year.