'Tis the season to make some effort

Christmas is here and the geese are getting fat, please put a penny in the old man’s hat... that popular Christmas jingle is just one of many that puts a smile on one’s face. In a world of doom and gloom, where terror throws its long shadow upon us, saying that this is the season of peace and mirth, of being jolly may sound hollow. After all, we have just seen the most tumultuous of times, the Sydney siege, where hostages were taken in Australia and two people lost their lives.

Even as Australians were coming to terms with a changed Australia, the loss of innocence so to speak, we saw an absolute massacre in Peshawar, Pakistan, where the Taliban killed children of armed personnel and attempted to justify murder. France has been rocked by at least three attacks, with drivers shouting and plowing their vehicles into pedestrians. In India, militants have killed at least 60 people in Assam. It has been a dark December and a bloody run-up to the festival.

So, peace messages may seem hollow, but it is time to look inwards to find some peace within ourselves. Ordinary people may not be equipped to tackle problems like terrorism; nobody expects us to.

This Christmas, though, let us look for the child in us. Find joy in simple things in a complicated world. Curb road rage on our traffic-choked roads.

Obey rules and show courtesy to the fellow driver and pedestrian. Instead of mocking the movements that appeal to people to keep the country clean, at least try to keep the vicinity clean. Learn about wet and dry waste and make an attempt to tell your housing society to do so. Volunteer for community projects and initiatives that can help one give back to society.

These are small steps that could go a long way in alleviating at least some problems and obstacles one faces on a daily basis. There are so many ways in which one could make Mumbai a better place to begin with, and this time the lexicon starts with you (u). Make peace with the things that bother you. Merry Christmas.

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