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Finding ‘peace’ in a doom and gloom world

As we continue through the holidays and the weather turns cold our area law enforcement agencies will face a known, but still disappointing, fact in coming weeks. Many people can’t seem to stand to be together, even people who supposedly love or care for one another. Most sheriffs in areas where the weather turns cold and nasty as least sometime during the year will tell you that there’s a very real condition sometimes referred to as &#8220cabin fever”. During unseasonably cold and nasty times (and especially during the holidays) friends and family members often lose their love and joy somewhere behind a cloud of temporary aggrevation and tension … sometimes the ‘fever’ even turns violent, or worst yet deadly.

Everybody’s world is different. Some people live in a perfect little house on a perfect little street where they raise their perfect children and drive their perfect cars to their perfect jobs. But that always seems to be the other person, not me, right? Get real! Nobody’s world is perfect, and most times the grass isn’t nearly as green on the other side as you would lead yourself to believe. Have you ever met someone who seemed to have it all – and all together – then you discover they’ve experienced some serious tragedy or event in their past. Doesn’t look so &#8220green” then, does it? Surprisingly, sometimes it’s those perfect neighbors who the police have to visit during a bout of &#8220cabin fever” during the holidays. I wonder if this problem is noticeably more pronounced in places like Alaska or Greenland … or if they’ve learned to deal with it better.

Now, this isn’t meant to be some great revelation, but simply a note that I, as a matter of reference, spent several years as a police officer and experienced some of the unfortunate situations our law enforcement will face as the holidays and winter weather marches on in coming weeks. Local sheriff’s department Chaplain Rev. Darryl Rhodes is once again encouraging people to place a blue light in their window as a show of support for law enforcement as they patrol and respond to calls this holiday season. It’s called &#8220Operation Blue Light”, and you can find a story about it in this issue.

In thinking about all the gloom that can show itself during this supposedly festive time of year, I remembered the lyrics to one of my favorite non-traditional Christmas songs of all time. Reading and pondering its words might just be good medicine for anyone who starts to feel the effects of &#8220cabin fever” this season.

A Christmas Letter

(verse 1)

At an antique desk

An old man sits alone

It’s Christmas Eve

And it’s almost time to go

He signs his name to a letter he just wrote

Then he reads it back with a voice as soft as snow

(chorus)

I want peace on earth for Christmas

In a world where there’s not one hungry child

A place where hope and faith

Conquers fear and hate

All I’m asking for is a little more love

(verse 2)

Then he walks outside

And he climbs up on his sleigh

And calls out to his reindeer

Off they fly away

Oh tonight he’ll make a million dreams appear

While he wishes that his own dreams would come true this year

(Repeat chorus)

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