I am sending you my list for what I want this year, but I have to warn you: it won’t be nearly as easy as getting a little girl a whole house that is exactly the one she wants.
This has been a horrible year in many ways for many people, and I won’t bore you with all the details, which you probably already know
anyway. I realize you can’t undo what has already been done, but apparently, you have ways to make good things happen. Since I’ve been around for many years, I’ve noticed that you’re not just about seeing that “Tommy” gets his train, or that little “Dory” gets the doll of her choice; you are also about arranging circumstances and bringing together certain people to produce the outcome that works best.
Apparently we as a nation, a collection of law enforcement agencies, assorted communities, and many, many individuals, are not wise enough to see what we’re doing wrong, to see what needs doing, or to see what should never have been done in the first place — in other words, to do the best thing for the situation at hand to get the best outcome for all concerned — so it’s really beginning to look like we need you to work your magic in order for that to happen.
Forgive me if my list gets too wordy, but I want to be perfectly clear so no one can say that you must have misunderstood. So here’s my list, Santa.
1) End racial disharmony. Please find some way to enlighten people to the issues-at-hand as opposed to the color of the individuals
involved. I understand that color is the first thing some people notice, but it often gets in the way of justice. Nobody wants to be
judged for what their neighbor down the street did just because they happen to be the same color as their neighbor, any more than anyone wants to be judged for what happens to their neighbor just because they happen to be the same color as those who hurt their neighbor.
2) End use of violence as a way to achieve equality and justice. Please help those who believe that the way to ensure getting justice
is to lash out — especially when such uncontrolled actions end up hurting their own innocent neighbors and community — to see that violence and vandalism only hurt themselves and does nothing to achieve their goals. Help them to understand that violence on top of
violence only contributes more violence to the world, and to their own community in particular. Help every leader and “man on the street” to look to the non-violent leaders of the past, such as Martin Luther King Jr., for a way to proceed in their quest for equality and
justice. Help them all to think before they act, and to act together in peace to achieve their ends. Help them to see that their way of
responding, of “making a statement,” ends up CAUSING so much harm, financial damage, and suffering to those who not only were not in any way involved in hurting anyone in their community, but who now are out of business, thanks to all that mindless madness and expression of anger (and that was before COVID-19 made it even worse).
3) End overuse of needless police force. We are all thankful that we have a police force for those times we really need them. We are
thankful that so many men and women care enough to go into that field to serve and protect. But please, Santa, just find a way to make them see that there are other ways of stopping petty, small-time criminals, and those who just happen to be choosing a scofflaw behavior, without endangering or ending their lives. Please, pretty please, Santa, let all those in law enforcement learn from the tragedies of recent days, months, and even years, and finally learn other ways to approach their job without causing untold suffering to the society in which they live and work. Please help all law enforcement personnel everywhere in this country to show their communities that while they are intent on stopping crime, they also value all life.
4) Help to end all those automatic judgments that people inflict upon each other. Please, Santa, can you fill everyone’s stocking with all the kindness, patience, understanding, and love they can hold? Give them the tools they need to see the best in each other and to employ the golden rule before employing any other tactic or before simply harboring thoughts that are harmful and may not even be true.
5) Help to inspire true brotherhood among all of God’s children. As you go about doing good deeds, Santa, and bringing joy into the lives of all people, especially children, may you not forget that your job does not just begin on Christmas Eve and end on Christmas Day. The gifts you give and the outcomes you influence for the good of others are needed all year long, but especially today more than ever before, and they’re needed to be long-lasting. Please look around at the pain and suffering caused by man’s hate, anger and misunderstanding these days and sprinkle some of your magic fairy dust on every man and woman enslaved by prejudice, resentment and distrust — and be sure to save some of that fairy dust for their children, who might be learning all the wrong lessons from their misguided moms and dads.
6) Take COVID-19 away from the world and put it where it will never find us again. If you can make it disappear, fine, but not to ever
return please. And if it must be buried, make sure it’s very deep and in a place where it can never surface again.
That should do it for this year, Santa. I know I’ve asked for the moon, but you’ve been known to accomplish miracles before…and you
know I still believe in miracles. I didn’t want to ask for a really big miracle, but maybe we could actually have just a little big miracle, by having our country be united again by whatever it takes.
And one more little thing, Santa: after all your usual rounds are finished this Christmas Eve, could you please scrape out all the
leftover love and goodwill that goes with you everywhere and sprinkle it over all those who are thinking of committing a crime to save them from a future with no more Christmas magic? And put a little of that love and goodwill in their stockings too! Maybe everyone will recognize the unusual gifts left in their stockings this year or under the tree and actually get some use out of them.
Oh, and have yourself a merry little Christmas, Santa. You’re the best!
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.