Things are not always what they seem

We haven’t come very far in 2,000-plus years, have we? Just watch the news on television or the Internet. There are myriad examples of man’s inhumanity to man: the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner controversies; Muslims killing Christians; Christians killing Muslims; Catholics killing Protestants; Protestants killing Catholics; whites killing African-Americans; African-Americans killing whites; whites killing whites; and African-Americans killing African-Americans.

Adding to that disgusting, volatile mix are the plethora of sexual assaults, pedophile crimes, and domestic violence against women and children.

It’s been this way since Cain and Abel. We’ve had more than 2,000 years to understand and fulfill God’s promise that we are made in His image and likeness, and that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

You would think that two millennia is plenty of time for humans to get it right, right?


But not completely wrong. Despite what we’re seeing on the news (which can be slanted in every way possible), there are more people on this earth who are indeed brothers and sisters in the Lord than what is seen.

The problem is, and has always been, we only see the bad. Bad sells. It sells newspapers, books, magazines, movies, air time on television and Internet hits. All that translates into money; cash in someone’s pocket.

I say, “Take heart fellow brothers and sisters, we are not alone.”

I recently ran across an Internet site, that sells fair trade Nativity sets from around the world.

There are at least 40 countries represented, and each of the sets from each of the countries interpret the holy scene with characters bearing that nationality’s physical and cultural features.

Just go to La Salette Shrine this season and witness the scores of Nativity scenes from around the world to see them in person.

 No one knows what Jesus, Mary and Joseph looked like. Mathew Brady may have taken historic Civil War photos (another example of man’s inhumanity to man), but he was born far too late to capture that first Christmas night.

Are any of these Nativity scenes incorrect? No. In fact, they illustrate just how connected we all are to God the Father, through our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and our brother Jesus.

In my half century-plus time spent on the big blue marble, I’ve seen, live and in person, more acts of kindness, respect and love, among peoples of differing races, colors, ethnicities, and creeds.

People are good, people! Please don’t become discouraged by what we witness in the media, which exists seemingly to whip people into a frenzy, not to report the news truthfully.

Don’t get me wrong, there are those among us who are indeed prejudiced and bigoted. It’s just that there are more brothers and sisters of ours out there than what appears.

Things are not always what they seem. Will we ever see the good people dominate the news? I doubt it, but I take great solace in knowing they’re out there. They’re everywhere. Christmas is all about family, and we have an enormous one!

Dave Jolivet can be contacted at

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