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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

To Each A Season

As the end of the year looms, December brings reflection and Christmas or Holiday parties and celebrations. This time of year also brings commemoration and longing to those no longer with us, along with intentions, resolutions and plans for the brand new year ahead.

This year, there are many extra seasons to add to the mix. The season of uprisings against brutal dictatorships in the Middle East is at its peak. An election season in the United States is at boiling level. A troubled financial season worldwide is threatening all pockets. A season of future uncertainty is beginning for many leaders barely hanging on to power by a thread.

This time is the season of heroes as well. A time to reflect on the sacrifices of those who were taken away from us because they believed in something bigger than who we are reduced to by seasonal leaders. They are men and women who advocated the right of every individual’s dignity and right to live in peace. They come from all corners of the world; they speak in many tongues and have various skin colors. What they have in common is their heroism, sacrifice and timeless leadership.

They are the ones who know people’s potential. They know that people deserve better and, thus, should demand better for themselves and others.

For his election season, GOP presidential contender, Newt Gingrich, claimed that the Palestinians are “an invented people.” What more proof do we want that Gingrich is a seasonal leader? He will say anything and do anything to get nominated by the Republican Party and he will do the same to become President.

Many of Lebanon’s great thinkers were assassinated or jailed as they advocated freedom for all. In contrast, as some today defend the bankrupt Assad regime in Syria while this latter kills its own people is another proof of seasonal loyalty; when the season changes, those same loyal voices will change too.

During this season as the conversation in many quarters has sunk to gifts, parties and Christmas trees on the one hand, and blind loyalism to seasonal leaders and their seasonal agendas on the other, let us refuse to stand on either side. Even if this makes me a “Grinch” let me remind you that there are many burning issues that need to be addressed and resolved before we “celebrate” anything.

Only the fallen heroes remain standing in the hearts and minds of their people; for their season was cut short by their sacrifice. They will live through the undying memory and unending commemoration. They are the true leaders who will be followed even after their physical death.

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