To begin a journey with a smile

blog post ElsaHO-HO-HO! It’s that time of the year when families join their hands together to celebrate happiness, forgiveness and peace. Santa is the incarnation of our profound desires to be generous, inspirational and entertaining! Like a Deus ex machine, he appears out of nowhere to magically add an enlightening touch of his graciousness.

One way to understand the importance of a Santa in our lives is to imagine life without him. Our modern figure of Santa Claus is not an old man on a reindeer sleigh, but could be further popularized through the image of any person happy to serve others. There’s no ghost of Christmas presents, no entrance by the chimney, but a new beginning for rejoice and reflection.

Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock, it’s almost midnight and a new year is about to start. What changes could we wish for this new beginning? I’d like to join my thoughts to all the Syrian refugees who continuously believe in the magic of Christmas as a state of mind. In fact, I have been inspired by the precious smiles of little children wandering in the streets of Beirut during the beginning of Christmas’ holidays to feel how the essence of human rights is forcefully taken away from them: the rights to have shelter and to express freedom of thinking.

During our Certified Training Program, I’ve learned that the concept of freedom is more than just an individualistic liberty says Paolo Carozza in the origins of Human rights tradition in Latin America. He understands the nature of the sociability of persons, and for him the individual freedom is rooted in and expressed through the beliefs of the community.

Therefore, the question of human rights in the case of the Syrian refugee crisis is a resort to Santas like you and me to happily arouse the importance of solidarity to apprehend and recognize human rights and free self-determination of the person.

In a world of promised words and e-mails for Santa to help the poor from their oppression, take the time to start a new beginning of changes which the world requires. It’s a key to go beyond the safe modes guarded optimism and feel empathy towards the person . It is this sort of engagement that is necessary to human rights today and in the future. It is this spirit of cross-boundaries connections that we should inherit from Santa.

My wish for Christmas this year is to begin a journey with a smile. A smile that will help accomplish the miracles of Santas around the world and a smile that’ll replace sad hearts by warm wishes inherent to human dignity.

Written by Elsa-Maria Karam, a regional intern at the World Youth Alliance Middle East office.