A Christmas Wish

Grandpa’s Take on what Christmas is About

Santa with gun

The Christmas Spirit mentions peace on Earth and goodwill towards all mankind. While most people would agree with that lofty concept, we have a long way to go before we achieve that aim. According to Wikipedia, the United States spends more on military matters than the top spending 10 other countries combined. That includes China, Russia, the UK, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Italy and Brazil. All this money is being spent without any major wars being waged against us and without benefit to the people of this fine country.

While there is no doubt that we must be prepared to defend ourselves against attackers, all this concentration on the ability to destroy does not seem to be entirely rational. So, what drives this preoccupation with violence?

Part of the answer lies in America’s history. Fighting wars has become a habit; and habits are hard to break. Since its inception, the United States has been involved in at least a dozen wars. Whether all of these were necessary conflicts is debatable, but the arms industry is now huge.Military Spending

Another, less obvious, reason has to do with international banking interests. Banks like wars. Think about it. Wars are hideously expensive and banks are in the business of lending money. They can help finance both sides of the conflict and collect interest on the loans. Then, after the war, they can help finance the rebuilding of the destroyed infrastructure on both sides. What could be more lucrative? Too bad about the lost lives and human misery caused by the wars.

An example can be found in the history of the Rothschild dynasty, which was founded by Mayer Amschel Rothschild, born in 1744. As a rare coin collector and money lender, he won the favor of the royal court. His five sons followed in their father’s footsteps and became international financiers in Frankfurt, Vienna, Naples, Paris and London. By employing a network of agents and couriers the Rothschild brothers stayed abreast of what was happening across Europe.

In 1815, after Napoleon’s forces were defeated at the battle of Waterloo, one of Nathan Rothchild’s agents reported to him the outcome of the battle before anyone else in London heard of the British victory. Nathan, who was a well-known figure at the London stock exchange, showed up with a sad expression and sold a large amount of stock. The investors who watched him took this as a sign that the British forces had lost and a massive stock dump ensued. Nathan then repurchased huge amounts of stock at rock bottom prices and made a fantastic profit when the British victory became known.

So, what can we do to approach the ideal of peace on Earth more closely? The first thing is not to let fear sway us. FDR once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Almost true, but fear itself does not have to be feared either. If we refuse to be swayed by fear (or anger), we are more likely to decide and act in a sane and rational way.

Second, while we should appreciate our troops, we should stop short of idolizing the military. We should support a gradual reduction in military expenditure and deployment overseas. We do not have to act as cops to the rest of the world. Not only does that not work, it breeds resentment.

Third, knowing what we now know about the money lenders, we should reduce our reliance on them. Pay off our credit cards, car loans and mortgages. When possible, we should pay cash for our purchases.

Following the above three points should bring us closer to the Christmas ideal. I am reminded of my favorite Christmas song, “My Grown Up Christmas List:

Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies

Well, I’m all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown up Christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

But heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh
This is my grown up Christmas list
This is my only life long wish
This is my grown up Christmas list.

May the Christmas Spirit be with you throughout the year!

dove