Gift a real gift — respect

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Christmas came very early this year. The advertising started in late September. This is understandable, because the economy needs a lot of help. Most businesses are suffering financially, and many people have lost their jobs. And for many others, clouds of doubt and fear hang over their prospects in the coming year.

We all need an economic boost. Unfortunately, the competition for scarce jobs often seems to pit person against person, group against group, fanning the smoldering embers of ill-will toward others. When the financial pressure is on, it’s especially hard to hold on to the values that help us to see one another as brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors who share a common community and a common good. Yet, ironically, at least when it comes to the economy, it’s very clear that we’re all in this life, and this world, together.

One might wish that the higher moral and spiritual message of Christmas also would have started early, too. The message, “Peace on Earth” is much more than a greeting card cliché. This season gives us an opportunity to pause and remember our highest and best values. We can realize that war, anger, prejudice, and hatred should not be accepted as our way of life because we are all children of the One Creator. There is much more to gain when we try hard to help one another.

It’s good to give material gifts. We love to offer the special people in our lives these signs of our feelings for them, these symbols of their importance to us. But in the midst of the commercial hustle and bustle, let’s also give one another the best gifts of all — respect, compassion, empathy, love, and good will.

In this Christmas season, you may see your friends and neighbors from Bay Ridge Peace Action and The Interfaith Coalition for Peace out and about in the community, bringing this message of peace, unity, and our “higher” values. You may see us on the avenues urging that we not overlook the hope and love that are the heart and soul of Christmas. If you do, stop and talk a while, and let’s all offer each other the very best of our “higher nature.”

Bob Emerick is a member of the Bay Ridge Peace Action and the Interfaith Coalition for Peace, which will meet on Dec. 14 at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (Fourth Avenue at Bay Ridge Parkway in Bay Ridge). For info, e-mail

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

JC says:
A Holiday Thought...

Aren't humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for "Peace on Earth."

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald's Factory Farm by C. David Coates~


Anyone can break this cycle of violence! Everyone has the power to choose compassion! Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: &

"Any great change must expect opposition because it shakes the very foundation of privilege."
Lucretia Coffin Mott, 1793-1880, minister, women's rights leader, abolitionist, peace activist, humanitarian
Dec. 10, 2010, 8:35 am

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