If anyone is wondering how on earth they can celebrate New Year's Eve in the terrible ebb of the tsunami, Mark D. Roberts is a must read. (Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt.) He argues eloquently that there has always been vast suffering in the world and that people have always needed to celebrate in the face of that suffering. He suggests that we celebrate with awareness, soberly and generously:
How much do you think we Americans will spend on alcohol tonight. Currently there are more than 295 million people in the United States. Among these, some are children; others are teetotalers. So let’s say for the sake of argument that half of our population will have at least one drink tonight. That’s at least 147.5 million drinks. Now, let’s suppose that each drink costs $1. This means, obviously, that we’ll spend $147.5 million on alcohol tonight. My guess is that the actual number is greater, given the amount people drink and what strong drink really costs. But what would happen if we decided as a nation to give up alcohol for one night, and to donate our savings to the tsunami relief effort? Now there’s a reason for a sober, indeed, an abstinent celebration tonight!
But when I speak of sober celebration, I’m not talking simply about the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Rather, I’m suggesting that even as we party, we do so with wise restraint and deeper passion. Giddiness is replaced by genuine gratitude. . . .
I truly believe that celebration and generosity can – and should – go hand in hand together. . . . It is our business to care for those whose lives have been devastated by the recent tsunami, not to mention those whose lives were devastated by poverty and injustice before December 26th.
When we take our business seriously, we won’t stop celebrating. The world, not to mention our own souls, needs festivity, perhaps now more than ever. But . . . we won’t party as if joy were a zero sum game. Rather, like Ebenezer Scrooge, we’ll learn to celebrate and to give, to love life and to love people, especially those who are suffering.
To repeat, it is a must read. Go read the whole post. And then follow Mark's suggestion to pass the hat at your New Year's Eve party.