OPINION: Dear Santa 2022

Glenn Mangurian mailing his letter to the North Pole.

December 8, 2022 By Glenn Mangurian

Dear Santa,

I know this is a busy time of year for you. I hope you, Mrs. Claus and the elves are safe and healthy at the North Pole. Last year I wrote to you and asked if you could bring some healing to those adults among us in need. There are people struggling with personal challenges and deeply concerned with the state of affairs in our country, the world and even our communities. Many problems seem to persist and feel intractable. Some are new. One person’s solution often creates another person’s problem.

The holiday season focuses on happiness and gratitude yet there are some in our communities who feel isolated, fearful, anxious and even helpless because of their circumstances. These negative feelings can be overwhelming and amplified during this season while others are celebrating with family and expressing gratitude for their blessings. Depression during the winter and holidays is a very real thing.

I am reminded of the wisdom of Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at UPenn. He reflected: “In hard times, people don’t want to be told to look on the bright side. They want to know you’re on their side. The best way to support others is not to cheer them up. It’s to show up.”

While you are out delivering gifts to the children, would you bring some non-material things to the adults? I’ve assembled a short list of things we could really use.

  • Empathy and Compassion for those who are challenged financially, physically or emotionally,
  • Kindness for our neighbors, family members, colleagues and friends who would appreciate a
    concerned person to “show up” for them,
  • Hope for those who wonder if tomorrow might be a little better than today.

The holiday season is about caring for other people. You may have a friend or neighbor who feels vulnerable during this season. Reach out and let them know that you care and that they are not alone. Listen with compassion and empathy. The spirit of giving lives in the hearts of everyone who does something selfless for another person. It takes a village to care for its villagers in need. That’s who each of us can be.

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