Thinking about this month's topic and about what would constitute a perfect world, it seemed appropriate to examine the world that we have now and see if I could spot any instances that do not meet that highest of standards known as perfection.
Needless to say, such instance are many and varied.
Doubtless, one could list myriad occasions and circumstances where people and events were far from perfect.
Naturally one began to look for instances that had a slightly narrower scope than all of creation.
I began to think that perhaps, the time of year being what it is, the holiday season would be something that one could use as a means of studying perfection. Or at the very least, ascertain what it is not.
How? I hear you ask.
Surely, one's task would be made that much more Herculean in its aspect if one were to use Christmas as an example of what is imperfect in this world.
I assure you, it is not.
Take, first of all, the common creed espoused at this time of year by those who celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. That is, "Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men." Often known as the true Christmas message, this invocation implores us to be civil to one another. If only for one day.
A noble sentiment, to be sure, however one cannot help but ask the question - why is it only on this day that men should feel goodwill toward one another?
In a perfect world, one would hope that every day would be such a day. Everyday men would open their hearts to their neighbours. Everyday people around the world would put down their swords and the only struggle would be for peace.
Sadly, we do not live in such a world.
We live in a world where children are bribed, threatened and cajoled into behaving properly. If you behave, you will receive a pleasant surprise in your stocking. If you do not, you will receive a lump of coal.
What kind of parent would willingly raise a child to believe that the reason one acts decently and behaves well is to receive some material reward? Not to mention the fact that in order to teach this lesson parents consistently lie to their children about the magical fat man who delivers these rewards.
In a perfect world, children would be taught that behaving well and doing good deeds have other benefits, both personal and societal, besides material gain. There would be no need to lie to them to teach this lesson.
But lie we do. Lie and spend.
The cost of Christmas to the average Christian consumer is a financial burden that often causes more grief than it does joy. It is, no doubt, a wonderful thing to give as well as to receive. However, there are many among us whose capacity to give is severely diminished and attempting to partake of the holiday festivities can be a severe financial burden.
Even if one can afford to give one must ask oneself - why only at Christmas? Surely, the love I feel for my kith and kin is something which is reasonably consistent all the year round?
In a perfect world, one would give if and when one could. At a time that suited both the giver and the receiver. And both would be the better for it.
In a perfect world, we would not need such an excuse as Christmas to be good to one another. We would not need such an excuse to gather together with our loved ones.
In a perfect world, these things would always happen, everyday.