When I was a child, I still believed in Santa Claus and I visited him at Meier and Frank, the big downtown department store. Going downtown was an occasion to dress up, and so I had.
In the recent election, many voters seemed to see our President Elect as a present time Santa, promising an end to many problems, most beyond any one person’s ability to solve.
Today I am feeling compassion for those folks who may find many of their hopes crushed as the country moves forward. As I have written before, there is no going back to a so-called golden age of the United States. Not only will there be massive changes to access to health insurance; there are rumblings about privatizing Medicare. In the good old days there were millions of poor, ill, uninsured citizens, many elderly, in this country. I pray that doesn’t happen again.
When I found out that Santa wasn’t real, I was reassured that the spirit he represented still lived. Compassion, generosity and a listening ear are all available even if Santa isn’t the one providing them. I pray that, when people learn that the promises of the campaign may not prove to benefit them, they not become bitter and disillusioned. May we as a country find a way to meet the deepest wishes of all our citizens without pitting them against each other. When we turn on each other, no one wins.