Peace on Earth comes from within

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Another Christmas is nearly upon us, and amid the busyness of the season there’s a yearning for the one thing that has escaped us for all time: peace on Earth.

We won’t find peace in the national headlines of the day or the war-torn countries where our military forces are stationed. We certainly won’t find peace in the frenzy of shopping madness that hurls procrastinators into the store aisles with a vengeance with less than a day to find the perfect gifts.

Some of us may not find peace within our own families. Others are mourning the loss of loved ones this time of year, or dealing with illness. Many are alone, and lonely.

But here’s the good news. Peace — and good will toward men — are tucked in all around us if we stop long enough to consider the goodness of people all around us. It’s on display so much more vividly this time of year. The Inter Lake has taken note of many acts of kindness this Christmas season, as we do every year around this time.

Eight-year-old Carter Colby recently collected and donated more than 500 toys this year for the annual Toys for Tots drive. An anonymous “Secret Santa” doled out $2,400 to pay for layaway items at Kmart, making the holiday a lot brighter for more than a dozen local families. Volunteers raised thousands of dollars for the Salvation Army last week during the friendly bell-ringing competition among local communities. Flathead food banks are going the extra mile to make sure no one goes hungry this Christmas, spurred by an upswing in food donations this time of year.

These are just a few of the good-news stories that have made headlines. Imagine all the other gifts of giving happening out there. For every good deed we write about, there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of other kindnesses that go unreported.

There is peace in knowing we are still capable of helping one another, of caring deeply about others. There is peace in giving to others. It comes easier this time of year, but the real challenge is perpetuating the Christmas good will and making it happen all year long. If we were ever able to sustain the kind of compassion and generosity that bubbles up during the holidays, that’s when peace will be truly ours.

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