There is a movie I love called Freedom Writers. It’s based on a true story about a young teacher going to work in a very rough school. In it there is a line that has always stuck with me. Hilary Swank, the teacher who is, herself, going through a heartbreaking divorce, says to a student who is facing his own tragedy, “We all of us have something.” And it’s true. We all have something.
Some of us lost loved ones this past year. Others have had to face bad news. All of us live with sorrows, both large and small.
We all have something. We feel deeply. We dream. We yearn. We love. We lose. Our hearts break and our hearts expand. Not a one of us gets through this life without it. And that is what makes us human. That is what makes us divine, these things that inform and define a life.
We don’t get to go back and right our wrongs. But I think it is precisely BECAUSE we can’t go back and change what is done, what we have done, that we grow. We gain maturity with this perspective granted by age. And we become more careful, knowing that what we do lasts forever. Perhaps one day we can even find compassion for ourselves having not known then what we do now.
So on this Christmas Eve, during a holiday season that can bring all sentiments to the fore, may we be gentle with each other and with ourselves. My particular Christmas wish is for an acceptance of our humanness, for our own flaws and mistakes, our missteps and misjudgments. May we find forgiveness and love not only for the other, but for ourselves as well, by far the harder act, if only right now in this moment, because it’s Christmas.
Wishing each and every one of us peace, love, beauty and joy.
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa!
Love to you all,