Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year, New Attitude

At the Christmas Mass I attended this year, or rather, last year, the sermon was delivered by a visiting priest from Indonesia. He introduced himself, very humbly, as a "baby priest" and wanted to give a sermon that was "short, but meaningful".

He began with a story from his village back home, where many people raised cows for a living. During summers, the grazing grass would turn unappetizingly dry and seeing this, the cows wouldn't feed. The people therefore developed an amusingly ingenious solution: they made green spectacles and placed them over the cows' eyes! The cows' world, especially the grass, then seemed invitingly green and fresh, and they would continue to feed as usual. The reality, the priest said, was dry grass, but with the green spectacles, the people (and the cows!) found a way to deal with it.

The priest then said that compared to his past visits to India, he'd observed something different this time: that the people seemed to be less enthusiastic about Christmas, that the spirit of the festival was somewhat subdued here. He agreed that it was only natural, given the attacks against Christians in many parts of the country, and the terrorist strike in Bombay. But Christmas, he said, is at its heart, a festival of hope and joy, that God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to live as a human.

The priest concluded by saying that we should not get so overwhelmed by the negativity in our world that we completely forget the positives; the reality of our world undeniably has a lot that's wrong, but by putting on 'spectacles' of optimism and hope, we can find a way to deal with the problems our societies face.

For me, this was a very fitting and much-needed Christmas message, something that I want to take along into the new year too. With all that goes on around us, I think its easy to become depressed and/or cynical ...... but that's NOT how I want to live. I want to be optimistic, I want to feel hopeful and joyful.

I don't mean that I'll be skipping along merrily, believing problems will just disappear on their own, but in the sense that I won't let those problems keep me down and keep me from doing my duty. I won't forget that though there is a lot that's regrettable in our world, there is a lot to be thankful for as well .......

...... (and now, very strangely, the songs running through my head are a mix of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive and Chumbawamba's Tubthumping!!!) Must be the lack of sleep ...... we brought in the new year the way I like it best - attended Mass and then had a not-so-quiet dinner with family.

Here's wishing you all a TERRIFIC NEW YEAR - Keep the optimism, keep the faith!


  1. Thanks a lot for the Wishes.,. :) Wish you too a Merry and a Fun & Happy filled New Year !!

    What you say is completely true. Its our attitude which determines our state.,. May you keep smiling always :)

  2. That must have been one inspiring mass lady. Its wonderful to hear those words, so encouraging, and so needed at this hour. Thanks for passing on the inspiration.

    A very happy new year to you Shalom.

  3. Prashant - wish you the same!!!

    Goofy Mumma - yes, it was an incredibly uplifting mass and I just knew I had to pass this message on.

  4. :) a very positive post!
    hav a wonderful yr ahead

  5. Happy New Year Shalom! :)

    Glad you were inspired by the mass!

  6. Happy New Year Shalom..What a co incidence.. I too started my new year with a promise to look at positives in life!
    I loved the story by the priest..simple and so beautiful the message is..

  7. Amrita - thanks and wish you the same!!!

    Sha'ira - wish you the same, and yes, I'm very glad too that I heard this :)

    My Space - wish you the same, and hope we can stick to our new outlooks regardless of what the year brings!

  8. great post. thanks for sharing the story with us. helps to keep the faith. have a great year.

  9. U knw I'm just coming from My Space's post where she also talks abt the same subject but from a different angle... both the message is the same.

    It is so inspiring to hear a lovely message at the start of a new beginning where our minds also are open to hopes & an inclination to better our lives.

    Thank U!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Whenvr we face more of darkness, god always sends light, the way it is here throught this message.

  11. Mumbai Diva - thanks and wish you the same!!!

    Reflections - yes, I too saw that post and it just reaffirms the positivity that thrives regardless of whatever else goes on :)

    Renu - absolutely true!!!

  12. I am definately putting on my 'green glasses' I want to feel hope and joy.
    this must have been a beautiful sermon and this is indeed a fitting message. thanks for sharing babes.

    cheers to optimism!

  13. A - you're welcome :) And I'll second that cheer!!!

  14. a beautifully written post, Shalom.........and very inspring too....