Appreciate Christmas by finding inner peace in turbulent times

COPING

December 24, 1991|By Barbara Turk, M.S.

It's Christmas, a time of peace. There is no peace. There is war, crime, hunger, fear. But no peace. Why bother with Christmas?

Why indeed, if you view it that way. It would be joyous if there were no war to maim and kill, no crime to terrify and destroy, no hunger to hurt and humiliate, and no fear to make life agony. But those things exist. The world is not peaceful.

Yet, there is another kind of peace. That which you find within yourself. That peace comes, in part, from:

* Respect for yourself exemplified by the kind and healthy way you treat yourself and . . .

* That same respect demonstrated toward others.

* Acceptance that there are some things you alone cannot change (war, for instance), and . . .

* Commitment to change what you can (hunger close at hand, for instance).

Why bother with Christmas? Because, just maybe, inner peace is the gift offered by Christmas, and for all who keep the Christmas tradition (and also for those who don't) that gift is worth having.

Barbara Turk is a psychotherapist in private practice.

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