OBJECTIVITY CONCERNING THE EXCITEMENT AND FESTIVITY OF CHRISTMAS
A group of young boys, lovers of fun and games, are the first to announce or herald to the community that the season of Christmas festivities is on the top gear. They gear the people up to start making preparations for the celebrations of Christmas day.
As the night falls and the families gather indoor, the boys, in groups, stroll in the village singing their own composed lyrics of “Christmas carols.” Exuberantly happy and excited, the boys knock at every household asking for chrismas presents. Not surprisingly though this nocturnal adventure takes place at a time long before the arrival of chrismas day. The venture to all intents and purposes is to collect money from well wishers with an anticipated view of making their own feast and entertainment on chrismas day.
In the bird’s-eye view, the season of Christmas festivity is historical, cultural and an economical phenomenon in the Christian church.
Historically, Christmas festivity has deep roots in the pagan (heathen) mould. 25 December is important to the ancient Romans for two reasons. It is the day, (a) they celebrate the birthday of their deity, Sun-god, and (b) celebrated mid winter solstice festivity. The heathen day of festivity dating back to B.C became adopted by the church to celebrate and commemorate the birthday of the savior. For historical record of truth, the actual date on which the savior was born remains eternally unknown.
Chrismas celebrations take cultural and economic dimensions. Culture is an expression of a particular society in place and time. 25 December, a day of heathen festivity became the Christian day of celebrating chrismas, the birthday of the Messiah and Saviour.
We in Africa the pride is being the passive recipients and inheritors of a foreign culture yet with no innovation of change. Superficiality prevails in celebrating chrismas. A civilized spirituality.!
It is a festivity whose cultural practices of “Boxing day”, “Chrismas fee,” “ Sancta Claus” and “Father Chrismas” convey nothing to Africans other than the economic (money-making) value of the festivity. Christmas season is a lucrative season for entrepreneurs.
Christmas festivity needs to be looked at critically if you like from two standpoints or perspectives. The objectivity and the subjectivity. The objectivity aspect takes dominance in this article.
The objectivity of Christmas is the commemoration of the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith. It is the historical fact that the savior is born. Jesus the Christ is a very unique personality. The man with leadership potentiality. The man with well defined optimistic ideas for the whole world, creation and humanity. The contemplated ideas give direction, hope liberty (freedom) and meaning to man’s estranged existence. The core of his teachings is essentially focused on inviting people to exercise their freedom in doing “the good” to themselves and to others. Love yourself first and then your neighbor.
Objectivity and ultimately, “the good” is singularly specified to be peace and harmony of co-existence in the world. “Peace on earth to men of goodwill.” “My peace I give to you.” These words, divine in nature, herald a new era, “Anno Domino” in the history of humanity. The inviolable theme of the United Nations that is scrupulously guarded and protected is “world peace.”
When peace and harmony of co-existence prevail in the world, then: [a] men are favorably disposed to be genuinely humane in their personal relationships with others. And [b] they ever strive relentlessly in their aspirations to realize the boon of life and the well being of humanity.
On the apparently negative side is “the evil” that prevails in the world. “The evil.” is the absence, privation and deficiency of “the good.” The Saviour of mankind condemned “the evil” in the strongest terms possible but in a very positive manner though. He made three appeals to people[a] Do “the good” of loving your personal enemy. [b]Forgive him for the evil he delights in doing. And [c] make reconciliation with him in the presence of a witness.
The objective and collective evil is a reality in the world of the living. It is inclusive of the evils of omissions and commissions. A few, handful personalities in whom the evil seems to be incarnate, the selfish and the egoistic dictators, tyrants despots and terrorists are the creators and perpetuations of evil in the world. Look at the continent of Africa, it is one continent disgracefully associated with the worst and abominable evils in the world.
The evils of omissions are many however, let it suffice the mention but a few.
[a]The denial of democratic system f the government
[b]Absence of the rule of law
[c]Backwardness of economic development and infrastracters
[d]Lacking of employment opportunities
[e]Failure to provide free education for all the rich and the poor.
[f]Failure to eradicate the scouge of poverty
[g]Failure to provide reliable health care for the poor.
The evils of omissions, that make the life of the citizens abominable, are experienced as the result of the existence of the evils of commissions that take precedence. And these are:
[a]The existence or the coming to power of a dictator in a country is an evil in itself, and reducibly the prime cause of many other evils inclusive of omissions.
The dictator reigns unconstitutionally with neither the mandate of the universal suffrage nor representation of the people.
[b]African dictators have no respect for the sanctuary of human life. This is justified by the human atrocities that have disgraced dictators more than the atrocities of commission. It is estimated, for an example, that Oman at Bashir has slaughtered two million people of southern Sudan (now a public).
[c]Corruption or the greedy abuse of public trust is the culture practiced at the expense of financial self- gain. It is the evil perpetuated by civil servants, politicians and the affluent interprenuers.
[d]The judiciary has always been a very corrupt institution. The “learned friends” of the judiciary have zealously protected the “trio”group or class of officials at the expense of financial self-gain. They have done this expediently by endorsing twin cultures, namely: [i]Injustice or outright denial of justice. [ii]The absence of justice is the perpetuation of impunity, the exemption of punishment.
[e]African dictators have influenced their subjects and induced them in developing the culture of emperor worship. The dictator being the idolized object of worship. They have expediently achieved this by:
[i]Manipulation of political hypnotism. [ii]While enkindling the cult of emperor worship, they remain very notorious hypocrites
The existence of objective and collective evil is a scourge, nausea and hell of a problem. What then is the answer or the solution of eradicating the problem?
Faith and prayer is not the solution. The best and well disposed to offer the solution to the African predicament are the following:
[a]United Nations[b]European Union. [c]United state of America. [d]International Criminal court [e]The African presidents must also stop the game of double standards. They must also put an end of boasting that they are the sole solution of continental problems and the sole matter of their own destiny. Thoughts of this nature are only a mirage. African leaders must not live in their own nests, cocoons and the allegorical den of Plato. They must embrace the adventurous spirit to learn democracy in the world.
The celebration of Christmas festivity ought to be the celebration of peace and harmony of co-existence. It ought not to be a one day event but an event that takes place in three hundred sixty five days of the year, “Anno Domino.