Unsung heroes demonstrate Christmas spirit year-round

To the editor:

Christmas inspires us with universal messages of peace and love. But you don’t have to be of the Christian religion to desire a more humane world where people like Jesus Christ (“the ultimate woke person”) rejected society’s embedded biases and embraced outcasts like the lepers and the prostitutes (and all people) as individuals deserving of love.

As demonstrated by the 1.5 million non-profit organizations that exist in this country, there are many unsung heroes who embrace generosity of heart and mind year-round. They volunteer to feed, clothe, counsel or house those who struggle in our society. They aren’t trying to get into heaven, looking for praise or proselytizing their religion. They’re simply taking actions big and small to care about those facing injustice, inequality or neglect. 

Unsung heroes show their love by denouncing the hate that has resulted in mass shootings, domestic terrorism and toxic politics; all things that the GOP and their voters claim have nothing to do with them despite the right-wing’s use of twisted messaging that purposely ignites hostility toward targeted groups. 

Those who believe in the power of love reject right-wing radio hosts promoting conspiracy theories to harm innocent people, church pulpits justifying prejudice against LGBTQ individuals, politicians demonizing immigrants, media fueling faked political outrage, Internet platforms condoning misinformation and hate speech, extremist militia groups like the Proud Boys and white supremacy groups like Patriot Front or neo-Nazis.

If the universal message of peace and love is to become more than an empty phrase dredged up at Christmas or in churches, every person is responsible for the part they play when they enable the hate: by cruising the underground dark web, choosing to unquestionably believe incendiary commentary posing as news, repeating unverified innuendo against others or voting for a political party that attracts extremist and anti-government insurrectionists. 

Gratefully, unsung heroes demonstrate the Christmas spirit year-round by ridding their hearts of fear and resentment against fellow human beings and by standing up to hate with love for all mankind, all the time, in the paths they choose.

Martha Hodges



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