Christmas – the most magical time of year, a time of sweet dreams and still sweeter wishes for most of us, but for so many here and around the world, Christmas may never come at all. It will be another day to get through and nothing more. For refugees, among the hardiest yet gentlest people in the world, every day is a struggle to create some semblance of normalcy in squalid camps for the displaced. I have known so many of them in some of the world’s bleakest spots, and invariably they exhibit a selfless grace and dignity that even now, takes my breath away.
Having worked in those dark and long forgotten places, I know how harsh life can be. With my eyes closed, I can still see the haunted, hungry eyes of the children and I can still hear the sound of a dying baby’s cry. There is no sadder sound in the world.
But I remember as well the unforgettable music that the laughter of refugee and displaced children creates. For even in their deepest misery, they somehow manage to be children.
And for the adults, there is the daily struggle simply to live, to live decently if not very well. Through their unimaginable pain, they maintain a humanity that is humbling to witness.
And this year, my wishes for them and for all of us are plentiful.
For all refugees – a safe journey home
For the people of Ukraine, Israel and Gaza– a lasting peace and safe passage home
For the hungry – a bountiful harvest
For the sick – a return to good health
For those who find themselves alone – the strength to reach out
For the homeless among us – a place to call home
For the unemployed – the perfect job
For servicemen and women everywhere – safe passage as you patrol the world’s darkest spots, and for your families – blissful reunions
For those who have lost someone special – loving memories to carry them through
For the writer – a year of fresh ideas and the perfect words to bring them to life
And for the dreamer in all of us – may this be the year your most precious dreams come true…
Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year to all!