“You’re not the brightest light on the Christmas tree,” a father said to his daughter. I was at a cafe, ordering coffee, and while waiting for the ambrosian liquid, I overheard these words. I saw an elegantly dressed man in a suit and tie. He held a cell phone close to his ear and was criticizing his daughter for not taking advantage of some opportunity that he had judged “rare.” “It was the sss—” I guess he wanted to say “stupidest” but changed his mind at the last moment and said “foolest thing you’ve ever done.” The word “foolest” pertained to being a fool, I gathered. The word “foolish” was not strong enough for him to describe the forever missed opportunity that his daughter had dared to slip by.
Whatever the opportunity was, it was sad to listen to a father talk to his daughter in this manner. It’s sad to hear anyone talk to any other person in such downgrading tone, ever. If the Christmas tree that the father evoked is a reminder of the Christmas spirit (and being kind to one another is a central theme), then let’s put the gift of kindness under the tree. And let’s remember that we all shine brightly if we choose to, and that nobody has the authority to reduce us to almost invisible flickers. Let’s all shine!
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