MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The Christmas season invites us, as an individual and as an organization, to reflect about our motivation to work as educators and teachers.
Despite all the misery that threatens the happiness of people, parents and children alike.
Despite war, hunger, epidemics or pandemics, envy, malice and hate, children are born every day in every place in the world.
Children whose parents believe in the future.
Children who have the right to love and care, the right to freedom to play and grow into individuals.
Young girls and boys who have the right to become adults like us.
It is good to celebrate Christmas with the children of the world in our thoughts.
The poet Wilmink reminds us that “year after year, Christmas seems to promise peace, but the guns thunder again when the holiday lights are extinguished”.
But there are always chances and hope. As a worldwide organization of educators, we want to keep hoping that we, each of us, can contribute to improving the happiness of the children, the adolescents, and, yes even the adults.
Let us be clear: what unites us is the love of the children!
The playfulness of the children and their happiness give us hope, despite all the sorrow and despair we see far away, and sometimes close to us.
Merry Christmas, and a healthy, happy and peaceful 2015!
WUCT UMEC President
An alternative 2014 Christmas message
and wishes for a new year…
It is a nice custom to wish a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year to our many family members, friends and colleagues. Our messages of friendship, sympathy and empathy reflect a strong expression of altruistic and positive human relations.
UMEC-WUCT wishes to express their warm wishes to all the readers of this message…
But this year, I want to express myself twice: first with “general wishes” (see above), but also with an alternative message, one with a “bleeding heart”. I do this, not because UMEC-WUTC is in trouble (quite the opposite!!!), but because many people are encountering real problems in recent years.
We are continuously reminded about global warming, the use of poisonous and non-biodegradable substances, widespread hunger and diseases, shipwrecked migrants or asylum seekers, innocent victims of war or internal strife. But what strikes me most is the nonchalance, the carelessness shown by most people and organizations to these human tragedies.
Saturated as we are by these images, we are emotionally dulled by the worst crimes against humanity, sometimes in the name of Allah and with the perpetrators unrepentant and triumphant. Has the world failed in its education to the point that there is no respect, charity or other form of altruism? Is what we see in the twenty-first century the depressing result of our efforts to teach a child to become and remain “a good person”?
Do we miss the courage to judge the daily newscasts with righteous indignation? Or do we look the other way, to other more interesting programs, blacking out the stories and pictures of the helpless masses of martyrs - a mere minor news item which we cannot influence anyway. How many children and adults pay their religious beliefs with their life, leaving the desert sand soaked with their blood, while responsible leaders, political or religious, avert their eyes and are too cowardly to take action or to clearly condemn what is happening?
Do we miss the courage to bear witness about what happens to people in war zones, where fellow men and women, colleagues, innocents are murdered in the most abhorrent ways – even crucified! – for no other reason than being supposedly different? Don’t we have a duty to react to a holocaust of followers of a different religion or different race or ethnicity?
We see violence, vengeance, war enter openly through the main gate of human behavior, while peace tries to squeeze through little cracks in the backdoor.
What an outrageous insensitivity!! And this in 2014!!
Are we sufficiently aware that, while we sing “Silent Night, Holy Night”, one more Tibbhirine may be repeated by followers of some crazy fundamentalist movement. The most diverse human ordeals render any peace wishes rather lame.
Mind you, could some unknown colleagues have taken part in atrocities? These colleagues may have lost their moral compass, to survive in extremely difficult circumstances. But who are we to judge them? But can we keep ignoring what we see and know? How do we answer this question: “What have you done for your fellow man?”
For the new generations there remains a forceful and urgent message: spend much more time with children of all ages, invest more time in educating and supporting the next generations, bearing witness of a renewed faith and an all-encompassing approach to education which finds its strength in the high values of our Christianity.
Let me conclude with the message of the angels in Bethlehem (Luke 2, 14):
“Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men.”
WUCT UMEC President