Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

Children, the time of Christmas awakens the vibrations of goodness, compassion and good expectations in people’s hearts. Christmas reminds us that our heart must be filled with love for God and for our fellow beings. It reminds us to let go of feelings of selfishness and hatred. Mahatmas like Christ demonstrated such goodness through their lives.

Christmas is also the time for healing our relationship with people. Sadly, people often develop negative feelings towards their relatives, friends and colleagues. Most often this occurs when those people have failed to behave according to our expectations. Negative feelings also arise due to our misunderstandings regarding others as well. In fact, our understanding of others—correct or not—is founded on our own culture and experiences. A thief thinks all other people are looking to steal from him!

Returning home from work,a woman saw her daughter standing with an apple in each of her hands. She very lovingly said, “My darling daughter, can I have an apple?”

The girl looked at her mother’s face and then took a bite from the apple in her right hand.Then, she immediately proceeded to take a bite of the other apple too! Seeing this, the mother’s face darkened.She tried not to show it but she was very disappointed. But, then, the very next moment, her daughter offered the apple in her right hand, saying, “Mom, have this one. It is the sweetest!”

The mother was unable to recognize her own child’s innocent love. This story reminds us just how wrong we can be when we judge others based on our own limited understanding.

No matter how experienced or knowledgeable we may be, we must never jump to conclusions and blame or insult others.We must have the good heart to listen to them and understand their side of the story.Even if we think someone has committed the most heinous crime, we must give him an opportunity to explain himself.It is possible that our understanding of the situation is incorrect.

It brings a lot of happiness to everyone to give and receive presents on Christmas. However, the best presents are not the ones you buy in a shop. They are the presents of discarding our bad habits and treating our family, friends and colleagues with love and respect. The true Christmas spirit should shine in all our lives through such positive changes.

Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi