December began for me with the ambivalence resulting from seeing too many traffic accidents almost every week in our city. It is a sad reminder that people are careless with their own lives. It is also a sad reminder that the irresponsible actions of careless or drunk drivers can lead to the deaths of innocent men, women, and child. The reminder we need to take heed of is that with so many drivers without proper education of traffic rules on the road anything can go wrong.
We also prepare ourselves as Christians to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ. We prepare ourselves both mentally and physically. Mentally we prepare ourselves to rejoice in the birth of our saviour as man to live among us. Physically we slow down or wind down in our activities or take a break from what we do every day of the year. Christmas is a time to celebrate, sing, praise, and dance to the new born King two thousand years ago in the Holy Land.
It is also a time to say thank you to God who guided us on our journey through many trials and tribulations. Let’s be the three Kings.
It is a time to say thank you to those who shared the faith, walked with us on the journey through 12 months, and made us grow in spirit and in strength to face the challenges we had encountered along the road.
Our families and friends need to know that we are thankful for their support, understanding, co-operation, respect, and company in the past 12 months.
Find the time to say thank you to God and everyone who made your life what it is now.
I take this moment to thank everyone who spent K1.00 every Friday to read Steven’s Window in The National newspaper’s The Weekender. The time you took to read my column every week is acknowledged and valued much more than you realize.
For me it is a rewarding feeling that many people across the spectrum of our society read this column every week. I know it is impossible to impress everyone, but at least in my column I am able to share my thoughts, knowledge, and experiences with the public. Whether my views are liked or not, I know that it is important to bridge the gap between what people know and what they don’t know.
In particular I would like to thank those with whom I have worked with to make a difference in other people’s lives. I am thankful to the teachers and students of the University of Papua New Guinea, The National newspaper, The Bible Society of PNG, the Education Department’s National Literacy and Awareness Secretariat, and the Office of Libraries, Archives, and Literacy, the Department of Community Development’s Task Force Secretariat on Social Protection Policy, the PNG Media Council, the National Research Institute, the University Bookshop, Theodist Stationery, the Correction Institution Services, Buimo Prison officers and prisoners, the Summer Institute of Linguistics (Lae), and the Kubalia students of UPNG.
We must also thank those people who worked so hard this year to bring us happiness through religious processes, through the commitment of their kindred spirit, and through the little things they did to make the difference.
We must also thank those in positions of power who have lived up to their duties and responsibilities to see that our people have their social, political, and economic struggles addressed through proper channeling of government and partner funding. We must also thank the political leaders who made a difference in our lives this year.
In the global level many political and economic changes affect us in Papua New Guinea as well. We must thank the leaders, organizations, and governments that promote positive humanistic changes and ideologies.
We must thank those who continue to help us develop as a nation.
We must also thank those people who made important positive changes in their personal lives so that others were also changed to be good, positive, and productive citizens.
In the Good Book we read of Holy Mary, mother of Jesus visiting her cousin Elizabeth, after the angel Gabriel had visited her. On seeing Elizabeth, Mary expressed her thankfulness and praise to God for choosing her to be the mother of the Lord (Luke 1: 46-49). From Luke 1: 50-55 Mary ponders over the magnitude of her part in delivering the Son of God to the world, especially God’s mercy, deeds, power, grace, providence, goodness, and blessings to those who believe in him:
“His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful.
To Abraham and his descendants for ever,
even as he said to our fathers.”
Tomorrow is the 25th of December, the day of the Birth of Jesus Christ. Christians will celebrate this day all over the world as they have done for two thousand years ago. Papua New Guineans will also celebrate this important day as a Christian country.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and may you all enjoy the festive season in peace, harmony, and godly ways. Let’s fear God, let’s stop drinking any form of alcohol, let’s stop partying, gambling, and fighting; let’s stay home this Christmas with our families, and let’s make this Christmas a special one for our children to remember as the one they don’t have to cry, go hungry, fear the drunkard father or mother, or be a witness to violence.
Please avoid overdoing what you do, especially drink driving or extravagant partying and other forms of counter productive social behaviours that come with our poor interpretations of the word ‘celebrate’ in the season of Christmas when Christ Jesus was born in Bethleham.