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Nurturing Hope

Dec 23, 2015

Fotolia_92815091_XS.jpgAt the top of my 4 year-old granddaughter’s Christmas list this year is a globe. In a child’s world of here today and gone tomorrow toys, guaranteed to disappoint sooner or later, I am more than happy to indulge this Christmas wish! I am happy to provide the opportunity for my curious granddaughter to explore this amazing planet that we all share, as she holds the spinning blue world in her small hands.

There is so much to explore in this world of ours. Every child growing up deserves to be filled with interest in the richness of other lands, the customs and beliefs of other children around the world, and a deep reverence for all forms of life which sustain this marvelous planet of ours.

Soon enough, however, each child will find that, along with the beauty and wonder of this world, there is the heartache and suffering that we all must come to bear in some form. That there are lucky children who are kept safe from the cruelty of this world and there are unlucky children who grow up bearing scars inflicted upon them by others who have lost connection with their own humanity. Unhappily, each child will find that the qualities of prejudice, hatred, intolerance, and greed reach into all corners of the globe and come to affect us all.

Yet it is my belief that as we fan the flames of a child’s thirst for knowledge of other people, lands, cultures, and yes, even the suffering of others, we set a foundation for understanding, empowerment and empathy. Perhaps it is these children who will embody the hope that Helen Keller speaks of: although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.

And so, as my granddaughter’s journey of discovery begins on Christmas morning, she will find that indeed this planet we share is an amazingly wonderful place. In this journey she will find that this enormous and wondrous world we live in is really much smaller than it seems, that our differences are great, but our similarities are greater, that while we are separated by tens of thousands of miles, we are deeply connected to each other through the qualities of heart and spirit that bind us together in our common humanity.

My wish for all the children in all the corners of our world and for the child that lives in each of us this holiday season is that we come to know the depth and strength of safety, love, and hope. That while there is the darkness of suffering, there is certainly the light of healing and connection that truly lights our way and is available to us in every moment. That the recognition of the common spark of humanity is each of us is the pathway to living in peace on this earth.

Wishes for a warm and wonderful celebration of the holidays and the blessings of peace and the promise of hope and healing in the New Year!

~Janice Palm, M.A., LMHC