A Christmas thought from Team Daley

Dear Family & Friends:

Let me begin by wishing you all a lustrous and joyful Christmas. In all the advertising hustle and seasonal bustle of Christmas, it is easy to get discouraged as the message of Christmas is lost somewhere between the electronic toys and AA batteries. But let’s ignore all that and forget for a moment about politics, war, and the tragic events in the Philippines or at the leaking Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant… and let’s really think about another year has passed and it is the time of year when we celebrate Christmas.

Christmas is just a few minutes away. For many, it’s a time of special joy. But for some, it’s tougher.

For those serving in Uniform overseas, the separation of loved ones can be especially difficult. Our thoughts are with them. They’ve chosen to serve and their government has put them in harm’s way so that back home we can live in peace.

Team Daley can count its blessing that my wife returned from her deployment to the Afghan sandbox just over a week ago without a scratch. With pre-deployment training of almost 3 months and no HLTA (Mid Deployment R&R outside of Afghanistan) we have spent the vast majority of our year as a separated (but united) family.

For those who of you who follow a faith at this time of year, it’s interesting to note that in many places on earth, the ability to practice religious freedom openly – the mutual respect amount faith groups is not encouraged, often not legal and sadly potentially dangerous with religious persecution common in many parts of the world.

My wishes at this time of year Santa?

1. That one day the world will have the same freedom, and mutual respect that we enjoy here. Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better. ~ Albert Camus

2. For us to stop watching so-called “reality” shows altogether. Watching people at their worst (and IDOLIZING them for it) for our own amusement says far more about us as a society than the people we are watching.

3. For our governments to make its citizens personal freedom a top priority. And that people stop idolizing government as the institution through which they are entitled to live at everyone else’s expense.

4. That freedom to choose and practice one’s faith is just as important as choosing how one lives one’s life – equal in EVERY respect. That the ability of two people who have found each other in this crazy world and have fallen in love and wish to share and have that love recognized by an institution have EVERY RIGHT to do so without persecution. One’s gender does not determine your access to equality just as one religious point of view is not the final authority on how one see’s spirituality. Rejecting gay marriage or same sex relationships on the basis of biblical sin or some historic sense of “right and wrong” only shows the world that your sense of freedom only extends as far as the end of your nose. The world is so much bigger than that. You are better than that. Freedom to choose is better than that. Freedom is the right to live as we wish. ~ Epictetus

5. Santa, can you PLEASE restore a modicum of civility to political debate everywhere? Some sense of professionalism and pride. The hostility towards different political belief systems of “the right” and “the left” permeates all the way to the grassroots where the objective is to demonize one’s opponent. The political climate we currently live in on both sides of the Canadian and US borders is ugly and unpleasant at best. Santa if you could just dissuade certain politicians from falling in love with the allure of negative attention which seems to force them to continually open their mouths to their own detriment, to the detriment of the people they represent and sadly to the embarrassment of their family, I am certain Torontonians would be eternally grateful.

6. Santa could you help everyone (myself included) from confusing politics with morality, law with ethics? Thanks…we all need that one.

7. Santa, could you help people (again…myself included) to stop turning every little controversy into a matter of high moral outrage? So what…he voiced his opinion LOUDLY on a very widespread medium. If I don’t like something you say and don’t want to work or watch you anymore, that is just life. In a free society that should be my right both of expression and association, as basic as someone else’s right to voice their opinion. This one’s ugly Santa…do your best.

8. Santa, help people rejoice in happiness and celebration. Rejoice in good family and friends. Celebrate good health and a good life and be thankful for ALL of those who take part in providing it.

9. Santa, for those who have had a difficult 2013, be it with their health, their relationships, their career’s; help them turn the page on that time. Never to forget, but to forge ahead anew. With positive confidence. Take bold strides my friends….everything else is behind you.

Merry Christmas Santa! So glad there’s one thing each year we can count on!

Daryl Daley…your old friend…still believin’ 😉