How can we overlook wonder and the obvious when we have the obvious – Christmas?

End of year message from Obiora Ike – outgoing Executive Director

We are often baffled at the amount of anxiety, doubt, hopelessness and fear persistent on the horizon about the future of humankind and the entire environment. We notice increasing restlessness and observe how societies struggle to deal with various levels of discontent, poverty of both mind, body and soul, increasing disbelief and fear that continues to pervade the human space, making meaninglessness real.

Yet, we overlook wonder and the obvious when humanity has been so richly blessed by nature and grace beyond measure. Acknowledging the manifold achievements made by people in the last 100 years in the sciences, with improvements in medicine and information and communications technology; advances in the humanities and arts, culture, literature and humanities, agriculture, the economy, spacecraft – especially with landing on the moon – we should be people of wonder and amazement, knowing our past history and the resilience people have shown to master their environment and overcome difficulties posed by nature, nurture, and ecology.

In his famous poem "The Second Coming," W.B. Yeats warns about what happens when a society doubts its ability to transcend and descends into anarchy and lawlessness:

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

Christmas, celebrated for over two thousand years, points to hope, to faith, and to love. It is a moment when what matters most in our world gets centre stage.  Family reunions happen everywhere, with children given priority of attention alongside other values of sharing of our means and resources, especially with those who lack.  At Christmas, many often forgotten are remembered. This period reminds us of the essential things that humanity needs most, namely accepting our common humanity as persons born in freedom and dignity, made in the image and likeness of an eternal creator, who loves and shares this love with all creation. With its melodious and deeply spiritual songs, lyrics, stories, atmosphere, decorations, and cultural displays, the season currently impacts all cultures, languages and the entire globe in a celebration of what unites us, beyond what may separate or hold humankind apart.

At, we share the knowledge and resources around ethics and values as what humanity needs for making the mystery of Christmas realised.  How could we overlook the obvious when we have the obvious to celebrate and it is real? We extend our gratitude for the support given during the year to all our partners, friends, networks, members, friends and colleagues for rising to stand to the message of Christmas, which is faith, founded on love and hope for humankind. 

Wishing you and your loved ones a truly blessed Christmas and a New Year where we can celebrate our achievements and unite in a world for everybody with ethics and values driving our thinking and action.

Photo credit: Benjamin Voros, Unsplash.

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