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Merry Christmas bla bla bla...
by Thanos Kalamidas
2013-12-25 10:11:23
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Merry Christmas, best wishes to you and your love ones! Wishes for health, prosperity and love. Peace all around bla bla bla…

If that’s what you thought I’m going to write today, don’t bother reading the rest. If, again, you think I become predictable; don’t bother, don’t read what’s coming.

Today, like every other day, every single other day all around this world, in areas with peace or war, in third world poverty or western democracy; in countries hit by terrorism or the ones who sacrifice their freedom in the name of security, countries that invest in research for cancer and states that die from HIV; in countries that believe in God, in Allah, in Jehovah or Buddha, in Kumina or Lotuko and I don’t know what else, 800,000 kids are going to be missing and 30,000 kids are going to die by the end of this day.

edit01And they are not going to die because they will miss their Christmas present or because there will be not enough stuffing for their turkey. They will die from lack of basic things. Lack of water, lack of basic food, lack of basic security, lack of the basics.

So if you want to hear more wishes, turn on your television and you will see plenty of them; after all, even politicians find this as a good day to wish and promise peace and prosperity without any real cost.


800,000 kids that will go missing by the end of this day and 30,000 kids that will be dead by the end of this day don’t want wishes. It’s too late for them. And it is too late for tomorrow’s 30,000 dead and for the day after 30,000! Kids!


That’s what they need and they need it yesterday so in ten-twenty years we might have much less than 30,000 kids die a day.

I’m sorry if I spoiled your Christmas dinner and if by any luck your conscious made you to give a pound or a dollar to a charity today because it was Christmas, I’m sorry, it is not enough. Start pressing the politicians to stop wishing and start acting and if they cannot do it, then change them. And the same applies to all your leaders. Changed them until there will be life for those 30,000 kids that die every single day.

For the rest,

Merry Christmas!

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K. Sakkalis2013-12-25 10:35:32
Everybody knows. Fear is the key word.

Emanuel Paparella2013-12-25 15:30:00
Indeed Thanos. In the epistle of St. James in the New Testament we read that our faith is in vain if we see our brother destitute and tell him “God bless you” and walk away, which Is unfortunately is the case of all those who go to Church on Christmas and give something to the poor out of their abundance so as to feel good about themselves on Christmas day and convince themselves that they are decent people after all, or perhaps relieve the guilt they feel for paying their workers with minimum wages, the so called starvation wages. That is another way to dehumanize oneself.

When I mentioned this Biblical argument regarding the poor and faith to my family this year I was presented by a challenging pointed question: does that mean that we should refrain from any charity that makes us feed good on Christmas? I replied with Pope Francis’ argument: we are all (rich and poor) in need of God’s caresses; which in effect means that when we meet our destitute brethren we should give but sacrificially not simply to feel good, not out of superfluity, out of our abundance; which is to say that we ought to give to an organization that helps the poor, especially children, but it should hurt a bit otherwise it becomes another way of dehumanizing ourselves. After a long discussion we determined that such a threshold for our family was $500 which of course remains a drop in an ocean of destitution, of what is really needed world-wide, but that is not the point; the point is that unless one’s charity is sacrificial the process of dehumanization will not be stopped and that is just as important as alleviating poverty.

Dehumanized people cannot help anybody including themselves. Were Pope Francis sell all the Vatican works of art and treasures and divide the proceedings among the poor of the world, they would each receive $10 with which they could buy themselves an hamburger and a coke and three hours later they would be hungry again and nothing will have been solved. Here too the Pope has it on track: we ought to be talking not so much about charity, as important as that is, but about distributive justice and trickle down economics; then, and only then will our Christmas not be a disguised occasion for celebrating the Roman Saturnalia, but the blessed event it is means to be.

Leah Sellers2013-12-26 04:26:13
Amen, Brother Thanos, Amen, and Simultaneously, Merry Christmas, dear Sir, to you and your Loved Ones.

Emanuel Paparella2013-12-26 19:59:18

I forgot to mention, lest we leave it in the realm of theory, that should any reader be willing to contribute 50 cents per day ($15 per month) to help children suffering from poverty, the above link will put you directly in contact with the UNICEF of the United Nations whose mission is the elimination of starvation and disease among children world wide.

You should seriously consider contributing not to feel good about yourself but simply to preserve your humanity.

Emanuel Paparella2013-12-26 22:40:14
I'd like to share the following from UNICEF which are the latest statistics on death among children. They are encouraging but much remains to be done. Perhaps it will encourage some of the Ovi readers to contribute 50 cents a day to UNICEF's efforts. I have already sent the site to get in touch with.

"Your sustained support enables UNICEF to bring lifesaving medical treatment, clean water and sanitation supplies, nutritional aid and more to children who need it most. Every month, when your donation is made, I hope you will think about the children you are sparing from needless suffering. Individuals like you are the reason UNICEF has made huge strides in improving child survival across the planet:
•Globally, the number of deaths among children under age five has fallen from 12.4 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010.
•Since 1990, the global under-five mortality rate has fallen by more than a third.
This means that millions of children are alive today who would not otherwise have reached their fifth birthday – and UNICEF supporters like you deserve much of the credit. Sustaining monthly gifts allowed UNICEF to save 1,000 lives daily last year alone.

Still, 19,000 children will die today from easily preventable causes. We believe that number should be zero. Your sustained support of UNICEF will help us get there, together."

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