Christmas: From selfishness to other centredness
Daily Mirror Editorial
Dec 24, 2011

Today the world celebrates Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. In human society only a few individuals have single handedly changed the course of history and Jesus Christ ranks at the top of this list. He was an enigma at the time of birth and at the time of his death and continues to be so even today.

Napoleon Bonaparte, imprisoned on an island and reflecting sadly upon the ruins of his empire whilst waiting for death, speaks of this enigma in the most amazing words when he says of Jesus Christ, “Who is this man, who did not venture more than a 100 kilometres from his home, did not raise an army, did not build a palace, had no riches but yet could inspire and continues to inspire millions to live for him and even die for him?”

Jesus Christ and His influence over humanity have been spoken of in numerous ways. But one of the original gospel writers gives us a thought provoking insight. He introduces Him as the light that has come into the darkness of human hearts. What is the darkness of the human heart? It is the terrible condition of humans who discover that they have to face up to life all alone.

This internal sense of being alone creates fears, insecurities and apprehensions that lead to either despair or intense selfishness. This inner state is imposed on others generation after generation. One has only to look around and see this reality at work. One group of people in society acts and grows in greater and greater selfishness and greed and unleashes havoc on others whilst the rest groan in oppression, depression and despair.

All religions and better philosophies invite humanity to live in a higher way that makes ones own life better by caring for and uplifting the lives of others. Put simply, if we care for and raise our children unselfishly by living for them and serving them as well, they too in return will look after us in the future. This is not only true of the family but of society as well.

While most of us know what the solution is, we are incapable of creating the changes necessary within ourselves to make the world a better place. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is not only a great teacher who enlightened and continues to enlighten the minds and hearts of people today. He is the creator God come as a human to share love, security and companionship with all even at the cost of sacrificing His life on a cross.

Those who experience this love and companionship are made safe and secure enough to transcend their own selfishness and start caring about and caring for others with self-sacrifice. God becomes a human and shares himself with humanity so that they in turn can care about and share their lives with others.

All the gifts and celebrations associated with Christmas should be an external manifestation of this great internal truth. Unfortunately many today have lost this inner reality but continue to express the external symbols with less and less meaning and more and more selfishness and materialism. Let us honour the birth of Jesus Christ by caring about and reaching out to others and their needs above our own as He did.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka