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New year musings: Will we ever again see the 'Christmas Truce of 1914'?
There is something magical about the cheerful festive season, which lies between Christmas and New Year! Among sparkling lights, the jingle bells and the refrains of carols, there is an all pervading feeling of goodwill towards all, and malice towards none.

For an optimist and a romantic like me, the good, the bad and the ugly all turn into 'decent human beings'. Unfortunately, after this seasonal rash of goodwill the world goes on with its mundane and more often than not, to its mean and wicked ways!  Again, we start seeing hatred all around us. The media and the politicians play unwittingly or otherwise a major role in dividing us and distancing ourselves from our other fellow human beings! 

I would like to believe, that no matter how unacceptable a human being may be, below ones skin lies a creature whose yearnings may be similar to mine. This reminds me of the lament of the detested Jew, Shylock in Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice': 

Shylock:

"I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands,
organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same
food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter
and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the
rest, we will resemble you in that".
 

The underlying humanity of us human beings, in spite of our religions, likes and aversions, loves and hatred, etc. binds us nevertheless! 

Having grown up between World War I and World War II, my memories are full of flashes of that era. Not many today may recall a very touching incident, dubbed as 'Christmas Truce' of 1914. 

'Christmas Truce' of 1914: 

In the midst of World War I, during December 1914 the soldiers on both sides decided to interrupt fighting and display the spirit of Christmas. As has been described, "On Christmas, soldiers from an estimated 100,000 British and German troops began to exchange seasonal greetings and sing songs across the trenches, some even walked over to their opponents bearing gifts. The incident became one of the most heart-warming displays of humanity in the history of human conflict and was dubbed the Christmas Truce". They even played football matches! 

A 19-year old British soldier, Henry William wrote a letter to his mother from the trenches, that he was smoking his pipe, stuffed with tobacco gifted by a German soldier!!! During the war, tobacco was a commodity which was in short supply.

As the New Year approaches, let us sincerely pray for the arrival of a Messiah, who preaches the gospel of Unity and Peace, and not the gospel of any religion or any political –ism!!! 

Anyway, that is my pipe-dream!

(The Inset photo shows the 'enemies' taking a break: British and German soldiers playing football match, on New Year's Day)

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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