As the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth begins, Christmas at Georgetown is overcome with fevered anticipation for finals and the eventual freedom that follows. Oftentimes, in this especially busy time, it is easy to forget some of the lessons we usually talk about this time of year. Of these lessons, I believe love to be the most important.
In December, the Christmas-time programming that we watch and the music that we play encourage love for our God and a sense of shared humanity. I invite both sides of the political spectrum to forget their oppositions to each other’s views and remember what we have in common. Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Libertarians are all human. We share our humanity, and it is through this that we realize love is the utmost importance. So what can we do to express this love for our fellow man and woman? Act on our love. Let us give part of our time, energy, money, effort and devotion to those less fortunate than ourselves.
One of the most charitable people of the modern era was Mother Teresa. “Love is not patronizing, and charity isn’t about pity — it is about love,” she said. “Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money, but reach out your hand instead.”
We must take action. We must not lie back and be satisfied with our own situation. We must go out into the world and actively take steps to help others.
Another great leader of our time, Martin Luther King Jr., spoke these words with regard to giving: “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
We can choose to walk a life where we forget about the pain and suffering of others, or we can choose to acknowledge this suffering and actively seek to offer counsel and help to those who need it.
There is an old German folk saying: “What I spent, I had; what I saved, I lost; what I gave, I have.”
What we give stays with us. It is not necessarily that we feel better because we give, but it is the fact that when we do give, we make a difference. Even one hungry child’s stomach that is satisfied is a great impact of giving. That is a difference made.
So whom should we help? The answer is simple. We should offer help to everybody. Undocumented workers, the homeless, the sick, the incarcerated and the hungry are all some of the groups that should be prioritized here in the United States.
In Hebrews 13:2, it is written: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” We should not overlook anyone who we can help.
To all my fellow Georgetown community members: Let us all fight to better the lives of our fellow human beings. Buy a Christmas present for a homeless person on M Street. Offer your time to a soup kitchen during your break. Donate a sweater to a clothing drive. Cheer up a fellow Georgetown student who is struggling with finals. We are all in this together. Together we have the chance to make all of our lives better. So why not? What is stopping us? We can make a better world starting today. We can make another person’s life that much better, that much happier, that much easier and that much brighter.
Let’s step up and make a difference this Christmas. There is no better time to start giving. There is no better time to bring others cheer.
James Gadea is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service. This is the final appearance of ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM this semester.