“This Christmas season, like all those that have preceded it, finds the world filled with human disaster – war, famine and pestilence prevail over vast reaches of the globe. The human spirit, in spite of it all, remains indomitable and irrepressible. Hope lingers, not withstanding the disappointments and discouragements that afflict mankind.
“Each of us, in the end, must be content to struggle as he can against such adversities as life inflicts. The possibility that any one individual can make much progress in diminishing human misery is very remote, but it is the undying struggle to do something to better one’s fellows that distinguishes the species from the other beings on the globe.
“The Christmas season, for an interval, calls forth the best impulses of people everywhere. Millions of unremembered acts of kindness and of love are inspired by the infectious good will of the season. It has not become wholly a time of giving and getting in spite of centuries of commercialization. It is a season, still, of good will. The fine old traditions, customs and habits of the season are astonishingly persistent, sustained by forces more imperishable than laws or rules. They join together in an ancient symbolism to prompt us all to enter into the spirit of the season.”
Decades after the Ellsworth American’s former editor and publisher James Russell Wiggins wrote those words, they still ring true. The “pestilence” reference seems particularly prescient given COVID-19. Still, despite great suffering, this ever-imperfect world keeps spinning. We keep finding reasons to celebrate. Among them is watching the compassion and generosity demonstrated by our friends and neighbors each year. Area residents and organizations have purchased presents and necessities for children, seniors and shelter animals. Food drives have stocked pantry shelves. Libraries have distributed free books. Donations have flowed to charities. There is good everywhere.
So, tempted as we may be to wallow at the current state affairs, we choose instead to rejoice. It’s Christmas. We hope you have a merry one.