Now is the time to think about our neighbours and strangers alike, and do something positive to change the world. Photo by World Vision.
For many Australians, 2012 has been a grab-bag of blessings and curses.
On the one hand, we escaped the worst of the financial woes affecting other countries and our economy is still relatively strong.
But on the other hand, many of us are struggling to keep up with our household expenses. The rising cost of living lingers in our minds, even keeps some of us awake at night.
We watch the news and feel despairing about the toxic environment our Federal Parliament has become.
In recent months, it seems like Australians have been on edge, waiting for bad news to strike. And yet this feeling we have is at odds with all the evidence.
Just a few weeks ago, Australia was ranked the second best place on Earth to be born. We have won the lottery of life, so why don’t we realise it?
Sometimes we only see a small part of the story. When we think about Christmas, we might only see the tinsel and celebrations.
We might find ourselves swept away by the crowd and noise of the season. For some, the frenzy of activity creates feelings of isolation and loneliness.
But Christmas is also a time to step away from the pressures and expectations of our usual routines. If we open our eyes, we might find encouragement and signs of love in unexpected places.
We might find signs of change and new growth, possibilities of hope where we’d started to give up.
Christmas is above all a time to re-kindle our optimism about the possibilities the future holds.
It might also be a time to make small choices that make a big difference. Now is the time to think about our neighbours and strangers alike, and do something positive to change the world – especially for those who live in the shadows and margins.
Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or another festival at this time of year, or perhaps just enjoying a well-earned break with family and friends, I wish you a joyous time and a hope-filled 2013.
Tim Costello is the Chief Executive Officer of World Vision Australia.