Merry Christmas. Well, for most of you anyway. Mine is a bit depressed due to my father’s illness.
I had the chance to visit with him last week, which is why no column was published. I refer to my trip to New York as a “blessing” and a gift to my dad and to myself, providing the opportunity to visit with him before he passes away and to reconnect with my sister, stepsister and cousins.
My dad has come to the realization that the end of life is near, and he is dealing with it with his normal humor and persistent storytelling. He will be leaving his personal collection to the Air Power Museum in Farmingdale, N.Y. So Ben Rosman will live on.
During the holidays, I definitely do enjoy the music. Not contemporary Christmas songs but classical music, such as George Fridric Handel’s “Messiah.”
There is every reason to appreciate the great music that is not played to death on FM radio. How many versions of "The Christmas Song" can one hear before it becomes annoying?
I also believe in gift giving but not to the point of bankruptcy. We know the primary reason for financial disasters is medical bills (which the Affordable Care Act will not alleviate), but I wonder where Christmas shopping falls in the financial ills of a family?
Although I do not celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah nor Kwanzaa, I do like the traditions that have survived the centuries. Lighting of homes and trees brings a smile to my face, unless, of course, the display goes overboard, like ABC’s contrived “The Great Christmas Light Fight.” There is a difference between liking a holiday and obsession.
Unfortunately, the fuss kicked up over Phil Robertson, patriarch of the "Duck Dynasty" family, has interrupted some of the season's joy.
I have contacts overseas who ask if Robertson represents American values, after he insulted African-Americans and spouted off that homosexuality is akin to bestiality. Both statements were made to GQ magazine reporter Drew Magary — statements powerful enough to get Robertson suspended by the A&E network.
I am proud to say “no.”
Yes, it is true that Illinois congressional candidate Ian Bayne thinks Mr. Robertson is akin to Rosa Parks, and, according to Huffington Post, Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are defending Robertson.
But most Americans have better sense than that. Robertson's values do not reflect those of the majority. I would like to believe we are more tolerant, accepting and understanding of our fellow inhabitants than demonstrated on this “reality” show.
So, let’s celebrate Christmas for what it should be, the rebirth of the planet and peace and tolerance for all mankind. Let’s look forward and heed the words that “all men are created equal” regardless of their skin color or sexual orientation.
If we can stop wars, if we can treat all of our neighbors as equals for one day a year regardless of our differences, why not strive for the other 364?
Peace on Earth and good will to all.
David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics.