Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter to the editor of The New York Sun in 1897 is timeless. “Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?” she asked. Her letter is based in hope, and a belief in something that can’t be seen. Francis P. Church, the Sun’s editor, assured Virginia: “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. … The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.”
Hope, love, devotion, caring, thoughtfulness, dedication, a belief that doing good makes a difference. These “un-seeable” truths can’t be proven through sight, touch, taste, scent or sound. Despite being “un-seeable,” we know they are real. They illuminate the dark, and have the extraordinary power to transform ideas and feelings into action.
The holiday season and the new year are times to cherish and celebrate. To resolve to live more healthy and balanced lives, and to rededicate ourselves to helping others do so.
It’s also the time to celebrate our beliefs in those “un-seeable” truths. We know their manifestations. Giving or receiving a carefully chosen gift. Being welcomed by the scent of a favorite family recipe. Celebrating the season with the singing of carols or lighting of candles and prayers of joy. Quiet acts of kindness and generosity when no one is looking. However we acknowledge the season, family and friends connect, hoping and believing in the power of goodwill and the possibility of peace on earth.
Let’s celebrate our collective and personal hopes and beliefs in all that is good. Let’s continue to transform healthcare through our belief that access to excellent healthcare is a right for all.
Wishing each of you moments of joy, realizations that you make a difference, and continued hope in the power of good.