When I found out that there was no Santa, I cried. I lost someone that day I believed in, someone I knew and cared about. I lost an institution, and I was only 7 (yeah, I was a little slow...).
And yet - Santa remains, my daughter gets a glean in her eye at the thought of he and his reindeer. The magic of Christmas for a child is like little else, and it all got me to thinking tonight......
There are some things people just want to believe. Follow that by re-enforcement by others, and that thing you want to believe becomes real in your mind. It does exist, because it exerts an influence. In that sense, it is real. And we become attached to it.
The Dali Llama once remarked about the Lake people up around Tibet. They flew flags to honor the spirits of the lake. Of course, he remarked, you may not believe those spirits exist - but those people do and it affects their life, hence they do 'exist'. To understand and deal with the people you must take into account what is real to them.
When I talk to little kids, I am careful what I say about Santa. Many believe, and that belief can shape things about them this time of year. They have more hope, more dreams, more magic.
And I see it with us adults as well - in politics and other areas of life.
'Our' candidate is Santa. We defend and recommend. We take offense when the beard is pulled off.
Our religion, our philosophy in life, our leanings in many other areas - are in some ways like Santa.
It does not mean what we feel is not real, and our thoughts are not right. But then we must consider the other person we are talking to - and are we attacking their Santa?
Reality, as I learned at 7, is a bitch. But then too I learned that the lies about Santa were not all really lies. Some guy was the basis, and parents over the years have carried his torch and played his role. A myth became a legend, a dream became a reality to some, and what was false became partially real.
And in it all I learned something years later when I told my oldest son. He was down, but now he too could help me fool his little brothers - he was on the inside now. A helper - someone who could give dreams to little kids, someone who could smile as he brought a magical joy to them.
And so it goes with life, and here on DU. And all over the world really. Things we thought real are exposed, and yet they hold some truth in them.
WMD's in Iraq, Clinton, bush, Obama, Kucinich, and so many more things - Someone somewhere is believing in their Santa. A magical person who is working away for their benefit, to bring them joy and dreams - to save them in some ways from what is out there.
We believe maybe that this Magical Person is the solution to our ills in this world, and perhaps (depending on your own point of view) that is indeed partially true.
But the real Santa, the one who does all the work behind the scenes, the one who sacrifices day in and out to make it all so special - is none other than you.
For none of these people would have the following they do if the real Santas were not out there making it happen.
We give credit to our Heroes - From MLK to whomever you have in mind - and while they were great indeed, it was the many who took up reigns and kept pulling the sleigh that made it all possible. It was each person who protested for the rights of others, each person who wrote letters and donated, each person who puts thought into their posts to help along an ideal.
We have our BIG Santa's we stand behind, but in the end - it is all the little ones who kept it alive and going. When we lost Martin Luther King, we did not lose the ideal. It lives today. Because we grew up, and took over for the real Santas behind the legend - and we made it grow and work.
Where did Santa go? He and Mrs. Claus are right here on DU - delivering the gifts after working their butts off campaigning and researching. They are here posting each day their own thoughts and ideals, keeping the dreams alive.
Santa's suit isn't red, it is a rainbow of colors stitched together from the threads of our diversity.
I believe again now that I am 41. Santa IS real, and I talk to him here everyday.
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