Imagine having to tell a child you love that Santa will not be coming. Santa, the guy who can make it across the whole world delivering gifts for good little boys and girls, will not be coming to your house.
“But I’ve been good!”
And you have to say, yes, the child has been good but Santa will not be able to stop there – WHY? Can you come up with an answer that a 3 or 4 year old will be able to understand?
- because we’re too poor and can’t pay him?
- because we live on the reservation?
- because he ran out of gifts?
- because . . . ?
My guess is that you haven’t chosen any of the options. I know why – it’s the reason I help Santa out, personally. You don’t want a child to think that they aren’t good enough to merit a gift from the preeminent giver of all time. Santa, the guy who makes billions of gifts every year, must be rich if he can afford all those gifts every year. How could he possibly run out?
Poverty hurts in many ways. It snuffs out hope. It causes people to feel worthless themselves. It brings hunger and cold.
I am not asking you for Christmas gifts today. It’s too late for you to arrange for Santa to deliver those gifts to Pine Ridge Reservation in time for Christmas (unless you happen to live in Rapid City, SD).
I am asking you to remember that when “Christmas is done“, the need continues. People still have no food or heat or electricity. People still live with no running water or indoor bathrooms. People still have no beds and must sleep on the floor. People still have no homes.
I’m going to make you a promise.
I will not stop reminding you of conditions on Pine Ridge Reservation until there are no more people suffering from those conditions.
So it’s up to you – would you prefer me to shut up sooner . . . or later?