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Believe it or not, our modern world today is facing so many seemingly insurmountable problems that defy the best brains to find satisfactory answers. We are faced with systemic degeneration of moral, political, religious and social values. The world is facing pollution of massive proportions and worse still, we don’t seem to have the political will to tackle these problems. This is just one of the macro problems that we ordinary mortals don’t have any control. Even on the micro scale, every individual also faces personal problems of brokenness and interpersonal conflicts that have generated so much anxiety and worry that often disrupt their inner calm and peace of mind. The ultimate result is that broken people tend to adopt a negative mindset of blame and self-denial. They have a tendency to blame other people for their personal problems and most of the time, they refuse to take responsibility for their lives. There  is little intellectual self-honesty in facing the major moral and social issues that are afflicting our society.

At the end of the day, each and every one of us have to take responsibility for our lives and make choices that will impact us either negatively or positively. Taking personal responsibility is the only control that we have. Trying to control the behavior of other people in order to make a better world is at best an illusion and at worst a paranoid reaction. We have to face the hard reality- the only person you can control is yourself.

It is high time for all human beings to face the hard reality- that if they want to change the world in a meaningful way, the best place to start is in their own life. If you and I can just change our own life in a significant way, we would have done ourselves and the world a big favor. This is the perception of Gandhi in accordance to the ancient philosophies of Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism.

The crucial improvements in our broken world hinge on the individual conscience and the unconditional love of God. Let these twin guideposts be your messages for this Christmas.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, explorer & adventurer, shares with us his insights on life:

Sorrow and happiness: We can learn to revel in our adversities or mope through our triumphs. Success & failure:We can strive yet achieve little or lazily reach for the victor’s laurels: In this sense life is all about luck. Yet success is in the eyes of the beholder and one man’s grail may be folly to his neighbor. Good & evil: Each of us has a conscience. Does it dim with Alzheimer’s? Alter with conditioning?… Is it a human function implanted merely to help us achieve God’s idea of perfection…or … a mechanism to foster human survival? Whatever its origins, conscience is to me the very essence of life, as wondrous a divine invention (or Darwinian sequence) as the butterfly, the human eye or love. “

The second factor that is much more important than the first  is love- God’s unconditional love for all humanity especially all those wounded human beings. In the wise words of the well-known writer, Marianne Williamson, “The meaning of life is that we love one another. The purpose of our lives, it seems to me, is to learn how to do that, so we can create a world where everyone is in love with everyone all the time. That would be heaven on earth. I would so love my children to live in such a world.”

This is the real meaning of Christmas for broken human beings. You can only improve your  broken life if you are aware of the unconditional love of God for you regardless of your sinful pasts or flaws. Once you are awakened your awareness of this wondrous love, then you can make a positive response to this divine love by loving other needy people and your wounded self. It is only with the awakened awareness of this divine love that you can learn to accept yourself as you are and learn to be more compassionate towards yourself and your mistakes. It is only with this same awareness of God’s love that you can learn to take responsibility for your life by becoming your own best friend  in order to make it a more loving one. A good conscience can only be a constructive proactive conscience if if it is tempered by love otherwise it tends to cut and hack your life with guilt and fears that may lead to soul murder.

Therefore learn to love yourself first and then learn to love your neighbor and finally, learn to love God during this special Christmas. Once you have this unconditional love throbbing in your life, all else is  trivial. Love is simply and essentially non-negotiable in life.

(Please pass this message around to achieve a better world.)