Scranton: Gather up for the season |

Scranton: Gather up for the season

Lance Scranton

In the spirit of the Christmas season, I thought it might be a good idea to remind everyone (myself included) the reason for the season and what makes this part of the year one in which people have such an affinity for giving juxtaposed with some troublesome mental health issues.

Any holiday that invites introspection can cause even the best of us to be a little hard on ourselves. Families that are no longer intact, relationships that are estranged, finances that aren’t ideal, goals that haven’t (and may never) be reached, or just a really tough look at the world around us and our place amidst all the seeming craziness.

Gather up your preconceived ideas about what a regular family should look like and consider that the Savior of the World (if you are inclined in the Christian direction) was definitely not from a traditional family background, and still his mother and father did all that they could to stay together and raise a son who would change the world.

Gather up your pride and dust off some humility because it is clear that hating someone requires way more energy than is needed to love them. In both cases you have to care, and no matter how you try to spin it, caring is required to hate someone or you would simply put them out of your mind.

Way too many people have taken up way too much time thinking about someone way too much when moving on would be the better course of action.

Gather up the coins and dollar bills that clutter your misconceptions about success, and take a long look at what you have been blessed with already. Nobody gets to take anything with them, and none of us get out of this life alive, so it’s worth considering what you define as success, be generous when money comes your way and keep it all in perspective when things are a little tighter financially.

Gather up self-delusion, look at yourself in the mirror and be honest with yourself. Are you not where you want to be in life because you made some bad choices in the past? Maybe you have some people or groups to blame for why you aren’t where you think you should be at this stage of your existence. We all have reasons for things not working out, but within those reasons might be a few excuses that have climbed up to take hold of the attitudes and actions that you might need to make things look different in your future.

Gather up your courage to face a world that doesn’t look much like it did 20 years ago or even five years ago for that matter. Things aren’t gonna stay constant, and someone really wise once sang that, “You better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone, ‘cause the times, they are a’ changin’.”

We don’t get to go back for “do-overs,” sometimes our favorite political candidate doesn’t win and most times we don’t really understand why some people think the way they do, but you can only deal with the world if you learn to live in it somehow.

Gather up these things in this season of hope and whether you are God-fearing, science-believing or a combination somewhere in between, realize that somehow we gotta do a better job believing in each other and trying to figure out how to wade through this messy existence and help each other figure out how to navigate the rough waters. The Christmas season is a great time to start (or continue) but let’s keep it going into 2023!

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