If you have been out in public for any amount of time during the month of December, I’m sure you’ve heard that song by Amy Grant, the one that goes “No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start, and time would heal all hearts … This is my grown up Christmas list.”
I’m author Gwen Alyce Clayton and I have that song stuck in my head. Funny thing, I used to be a huge Amy Grant fan. I played her music all the time. I even saw her in concert at Lawlor Event Center in Reno, Nevada back in 1986. Her husband at the time, Gary Chapman, played guitar in her band and he took the microphone for a few minutes to sing this song he wrote for her, something like “Amy is …” I don’t remember, something about she’s the bomb—although we didn’t say that back then, so whatever.
I was totally crushed when she had an affair with Vince Gill.
Today, I want to dissect the Amy Grant song “Grown-Up Christmas List” to see what success looks like. If this wish were to come true, how exactly would we know it?
Let’s take a look.
- No more lives torn apart. What can we as individuals do to prevent lives from being torn apart? Legislation? Stop being passive consumers? Stop being passive voters? Prioritize, dammit! Stop giving Kyle Rittenhouse and Jussie Smollett your eyeballs! They don’t deserve it. Your eyeballs should be reading about important things, not the junk food that tries to pass as news.
- That wars would never start. Stop making war profitable! And can we please get a president who might actually have served in combat? The last president to serve in the military was George W. Bush who served in the Texas Air National Guard, but he never made it to Vietnam. The last president to see combat was his daddy, George H. W. Bush who was our 41st president. Joe Biden is No. 46. He received five draft deferments due to asthma, and of course, 45 had his famous bone spurs. That means it’s been five presidents since we’ve had someone who has experienced what it’s like to be on the actual battleground.
- And time would heal all hearts. Time doesn’t heal hearts. You know what does? Things going right in life. Take for example, a military veteran who separates from the military. They go to the VA for care. They get the runaround. They have to wait months or maybe years to see a provider. The recordkeeping is all messed up and vets have to resubmit information over and over again, and the vets themselves have to keep on top of it all because turnover at the VA, be it administrative or medical staff, is so high and nobody’s talking to each other. Takes forever to get a disability rating and when they do, it’s so low it’s an insult. Doesn’t even cover all the mental and physical wounds. It’s like a game of legal Chutes and Ladders.
And Social Security Disability Insurance is almost as bad, as I talked about in my video How the Grinch Stole My SSDI.
This country has bred a culture of non-responsiveness I just finished reading the book, “Makers and Takers” by Rana Foroohar, and she goes into deep detail about how we have socialized risk and privatized returns for the finance industry, yet we refuse to provide a safety net for those who truly need it. This is not a functional society.
No wonder there are so many people battling depression and anxiety.
More than 30,000 active duty personnel and veterans of the post-9/11 wars have died by suicide, which is four times the amount of service members killed in action during post-9/11 war operations.
Do you wonder where those numbers come from? You mean to tell me 30,000 warriors trained to endure the world’s toughest circumstances couldn’t keep their shit together? No! They ran out of spoons, my friend.
The Spoon Theory was created by a Lupus patient named Christine Miserandino, author of the blog, But You Don’t Look Sick. It works kinda like this:
Most people start the day with unlimited amount of ability and energy to do whatever they want to do. They can make their own meals. They can dress themselves. They can walk up and down the steps of their home. They can do their own shopping, get around town, whatever. Most people take those things for granted.
Let’s say each spoon represents one of those opportunities. When it becomes a greater and greater struggle to do your everyday tasks, you lose a spoon.
You lose a spoon every time some administrator treats you like some grifter traying to game the system. They are looking for reasons to deny you. It is literally a game of Chutes and Ladders.
Finally, you run out of spoons. And then what do you do? Where do you go? Who do you turn to?
That brings us to the next line in the song.
And everyone would have a friend. Have you been a friend to someone lately? Be humble. Be nice. Be grateful. Be gracious. Be honest.
And right would always win. The problem is that we all think we’re right. Vladimir Putin thinks he’s right. Xi Jinping thinks he’s right. Joe Biden thinks he’s right. Glenn Beck thinks he’s right. To determine who is right and who is wrong, we can deploy a system of critical thinking. And that, my friend, is what this blog is all about.
Skipping ahead a bit …
- But heaven only knows that packages and bows can never heal a hurting human soul. Neither can all the token philanthropic work done by companies that screw employees and customers in the first place. The Gates Foundation, the Clinton Foundation, and all the other shell philanthropies don’t negate the bad acting done the other 364 days of the year.
My grownup Christmas list is to have a fully functional society. Forget about Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. I want to live in a world where people actually take the actions needed to make it happen. Not lip service. Not tokenism. Not hero complex. I want real change that calms the sea of chaos.
What is your grownup Christmas list? Let me know in the comments.
Rivervine is the lifestyles channel for thought leaders with a sense of wonder. Here you will find author Gwen Alyce Clayton sharing news, features and commentary designed for critical thinkers and lovers of things that aren’t trending but should be. Videos upload every Tuesday at 6 p.m. Eastern Time on YouTube, as long as technology and skill level cooperate.
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