Walter’s World: The Greatest Gift

December 23, 2011

By Walter Rutledge

I know for many of you the arts and related arts events are a minor, if not trivial part of your day.

With all the real defining moments happening around us hearing about a dance concert, or musical, or art exhibit is just one of life’s frivolities. What is amazing is how easily a little song, dance or painting can bring joy into people’s lives.

Life has never been a simple course to navigate. With each passing day our lives have become more complicated. The days seem to go by faster. Necessities have become as costly as luxuries. Our neighbors have become strangers. Violence permeates our society. The world is has become cruel and uncaring.

Unfortunately mankind has changed very little in the last two thousand years. Think of this scenario; a teenage couple has recently arrived in town, and they are homeless. They have very little money, it is winter and they are wandering the streets. She is pregnant (with someone else’s child) and will soon give birth.

The teenagers try desperately to find shelter, but no one has compassion. Finally someone allows them to stay in a small shed in the backyard. It is there that the girl gives birth. This sad commentary on society could have been a small human-interest story in this week’s Harlem World Magazine Online.

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Regardless of your religious beliefs this small act of compassion that was granted to a couple of teenagers over two thousand years ago changed the world forever. From the humblest of beginnings the child has come to symbolize the aspiration of all mankind. We have learned that greatness is not defined by where you are at the start of the race; instead it is defined by how well you run the course appointed. This is the true measure of success and the greatest gift of the season.

Happy Holidays


Art work by Walter Rutledge

Video excerpt from Soulful Noel Executive Producer Walter Rutledge

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