Editor’s note: From the December 25, 1977, Marietta Daily Journal

A pessimist, it has been said, is one who, offered a glass partially filled with water, sees only that it is half empty, while an optimist, on the other hand, is thankful it is half full.

The same is true of the Christmas season, which some see only as the end of another year, while others are thankful it presents an opportunity to begin anew.

Christmas should be a time for looking inward, for reassessing our values and goals and redirecting our energies and thoughts. It is after all the anniversary of the event that occasioned the greatest change in the course of human events the world has ever known.

So at Christmas, more than at any other time, one should pause and ask himself, “Where am I going? And why?”

The universal message of the birth of the Child in Bethlehem 20 centuries ago is that it is never too late to seek forgiveness, for God asks only that we love Him and act toward our fellow man in a way that reflects that love.

But Christmas is far more than a time for renewal of spiritual and social values: It is an occasion for great joy and happiness, for laughter and gift-giving, for wide-eyed children awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus, for the warmth and friendship of loved ones, and above all for the spirit of love and good will that radiates from deep within the hearts and souls of people from all over the world.

Christmas is truly a glimpse of Paradise — a brief but shining moment when love prevails and we see the world the way it could be — the way it should be —warmed by the flow of peace on earth and nourished by the ties of universal brotherhood. If only we could capture and hold that marvelous Christmas spirit, to use throughout the year whenever men have forgotten their spiritual heritage and begun to act like the beasts of the field.

But that of course is not possible. All any of us can do is resolve to carry its message of love and forgiveness within his own heart as a shining example to others that the Christmas spirit need not die after Christmas Day. It lives on, as do the words of the One whose birth it commemorates: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

And from all of us to all of you, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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