“The Christmas hope for peace and good will toward all men can no longer be dismissed as a kind of pious dream of some utopian. If we don’t have good will toward men in this world, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own instruments and our own power. Wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete. We must either learn to live together as brothers or we are going to perish together as fools.”—Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Christmas Eve sermon, 1967
As a child, my Christmas wish list came right out of the Sears and Roebuck catalogue—toys, board games, bikes, action figures, etc. My parents, like so many in their day, belonged to the working-class poor, so while I never lacked for the necessities of life, many of the items on my wish list never came to be. Even so, I was no worse off for it.
I wish the same could be said of those still unfulfilled items on my adult Christmas wish list. Each year, I wish for the same things—an end to war, poverty, hunger, violence and disease—and each year, I find the world relatively unchanged. Millions continue to die every year, casualties of a world that places greater value on war machines and profit margins than human life.
I’ve seen enough of the world in my 68 years to know that wishing is not enough. We need to be doing….