In the years Carol and I built our business’s the words ‘I haven’t time’ were often spoken. We dedicated our lives to our success’s. There is nothing unusual in this; millions of people will say the same three words today. It is interesting that when I became ill, Carol, family and friends adjusted their timetables to help me through the illness and recovery. They made time for me, and I understand the commitment and sacrifices were no small cost.
It is coming up to the festive season, and there will be parents who are struggling with the pressure already. Excessive financial commitment, emotional memories and conflicts precede the two-day extravaganza. For many people it is not a festive season holding emotions of happiness and celebration, it a period of foreboding and anticipation of debts and credit card bills in the new year. Big smiles are hiding serious concerns.
We have all become overwhelmed by the sentiments of the season, brainwashed by the superb big store advertisements and anticipation of New Year sales. Once we cooked a turkey, now Jamie tempts us into a ten-course meal and has not cared for the reality of ordinary people’s kitchens or dining space. And for all of this, most of us love the mayhem! Kids are opening presents, Grandmother taking over the comfortable chair, people nursing hangover heads, falling asleep in the afternoon, knowing full well its a big mistake.
I would ask people to think about those who are no longer with us. Those who we knew so well and loved so much, because the memories of our loved ones guide us to the reality of our lives. I would sit down to baked bean’s on toast with a glass of water if I could celebrate my Christmas day with family loved and adored who are no longer with me. I know the impossibility of the desire, I know the power of the thought. You see, a box full of presents are worthless, compared to a conversation with someone you love. It is almost as if the real value of the gifts is they are a passport for meetings and family gatherings. Never take the moments of the family community away from the season’s illusion. And for many people the season is a dream, when the tree is returned to the attic, the toys are broken, and the new PlayStation game comes out in February, it is the pictures or videos of the gatherings which are remembered.
If there is a sentiment to think of, think of this. Millions make time for three days of celebration; they plan and save and enter into debt for weeks beforehand. Is the time invested in the season of goodwill wasted? In other words, does the cost outweigh the rewards? To my mind if we consider the family community, meeting of friends, a celebration of giving and receiving and all of these interactions are kept well within our emotional, physical, spiritual and material means; the effort is worthwhile. The moment the celebration becomes a hidden burden, then the season is an illusion of happiness, not a heartfelt celebration.
I realised these thoughts when Carol and I made time to enjoy some time in Agadir ~ Morocco last week. You can receive a hundred presents and still be unhappy or your heart can be filled with love and content with a kiss. You can never buy friends or gain respect with toys and trinkets. You win friends with the gifts of honesty and integrity. The sentiment of this essay is this; Time is a present you cannot give to any man, and you cannot make it. Why not make the whole of the year to come, one where the greatest gift you can give is your time to those you love.
Before I became ill and my transplant returned me to health. I wasted my life by not understanding the three words ‘I haven’t time’ ~ You can be sure I know what those words mean now. I will not give you the answer, think it out for yourself!
I thank the donors and their families for their ultimate gifts. I know you will not be together at Christmas, my thoughts will be with you on Christmas morning. The donor’s gifts are the greatest of all, may their families be blessed with peace and prosperity.
Happy Season and Happy Holidays
Campbell and Carol