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What the world could be wishing for

Traditionally, most of us are familiar with the Christmas list syndrome, which is embraced by infants and adults whenever the festive season sweeps through countries that celebrate this wonderful time for sharing all types of gifts for family members or friends.

Sadly, we have a world where there is plenty of glitter and sparkle in parts while in other areas, men, women and children suffer and die in conditions that are difficult to comprehend.

This, in a world where science has men and women able to live peacefully hundreds of miles above the Earth on board an orbiting space station.

Even more puzzling is how, with powerful nations flourishing in billions of dollars, a mother in war-torn Yemen is left to tell a story of her little child dying of starvation last week. There were many others who suffered a similar fate.

For much of the free world, and its countless problems, most people still long for peace, decency and freedom to enjoy life without fear of repression from those who seek to dominate by crushing any resistance to their brand of authority.

Each year at this time, people around the world express hope that a new year will bring improvement with strong leadership making a difference in reducing the amount of suffering and dying as a result of international disputes that culminate in vicious military encounters, with thousands plunged into an abyss of daily terror. Despite the ongoing bloodshed in so many regions, hope should never be abandoned in the quest to make the world a better place for future generations.

The Christmas celebration is perhaps the most significant event on the calendar to ignite the urge to share common joys in a manner where even strangers are treated as friends.

Often, people who have never spoken a word to each other all year manage a smile and a greeting as though the wonder of the festive celebration is too overpowering to resist. Most of us have experienced those moments.

If most of the world had one wish as a special gift, it would be probably that all nations would have leaders who would hold values such as decency, truth and respect above economic and military power to maintain some form of international status in the eyes of competitors.

Even the United Nations, to some degree, has been powerless in trying to get some nations to shift from military might in clinging to power, with the weak and vulnerable left with no voice in a climate where to resist could prove fatal.

The Christmas message is about peace and hope for all who believe in such values. However, we all know our world is in the grip of a struggle for good leadership in many powerful countries, and that greed and the thirst for greater power has many wondering whether lessons have been learnt from world history that there are no weapons powerful enough to destroy values of freedom and respect for life.

When the last light from the Christmas festival flickers out, and with it too often that warmth the season brings, it will never be too late for the world to wish for better leadership that might help to change the urge to settle differences with bombs and bullets.

Improvement in that area would give greater meaning to why the Christmas celebration is so special.

This is not a time for despair over so many negative situations internationally that have many deeply worried about the future. The power of good people working together will always triumph over any elements of corruption or misdeeds by leaders who fail to uphold truth and decency.

That should be the Christmas wish from the world this year.

Al Seymour's Christmas wish: the power of good people working together will always triumph over any elements of corruption or misdeeds by leaders who fail to uphold truth and decency (File photograph)

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Published December 21, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated December 21, 2018 at 7:56 am)

What the world could be wishing for

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