X-mas is over with the exception of the hurt feelings for not getting the expected presents, the hangovers and lingering regrets from bad decisions, the credit card bills and late notices and the regular reminders that life goes on after Dec. 25 with all its attendant problems.

But did the X-mas celebration really bring more joy and true happiness–which can never be purchased–or simply a momentary respite and false sense of joy which quickly dissipates as the financial, emotional and spiritual costs of the season are totaled?

Billions have been spent. Merchants count receipts with glee. Economists tally whether the public rescued the nation once again in a vortex of spending and orgy of consumption.


But are you better off? Is your family better off? Is our community better off?

And if the reason for the season is the birth of a Saviour who represents the reconciliation of God and man and one the Bible says was declared to be the son of God by the spirit, do you have a feeling of relief and enjoy confidence that one is in the world with the power to deliver you? Or sadly do you feel overcome or almost overcome by a world that profited from using the name of Jesus in ways far removed from his life and mission?

Jesus didn’t come to make sure we received the biggest presents and enjoyed the biggest parties; he came that we may have life and have it more abundantly. As the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has taught us, life is much more than physical existence: It is engaging in the creative aspects of life in business, home and community that truly represent whether we are living or simply languishing in a state of existence. Life at the highest level means having a greater spiritual understanding and appreciation that allows one to transcend earthly worries and humdrum reality for higher values of service, sacrifice and progress.

In the season of excess, perhaps progress is the thing we should be talking about. In the days of chattel slavery, our suffering ancestors enjoyed X-mas as a time away from a dreaded existence. It is easy to understand why a slave would seek refuge in alcohol or whatever the slave master provided given the abject conditions under which they existed and the intense pain and horror they experienced. But if we are free people today, should we follow in the path of our ancestors who would have, and some did, give all they had to be free?

If we are free should not we take a sober look at the celebrations and traditions of our slave masters’ children and make an intelligent decision?

Is it enough that Black people were pepper-sprayed in Huntsville, Ala., because of fights and chaos surrounding the release of the latest Michael Jordan sneaker? Or how about hundreds in Ft. Worth who came out for Air Jordans and found themselves crammed together, scrambling and police intervening with an officer releasing pepper spray and a mall security guard doing the same. Police complained the store goofed by not offering vouchers to allow people to purchase the shoes on a schedule. A voucher to stand in line and buy shoes? So this is what we have come to?

It’s hard to imagine that Jesus would look at this madness and say, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” and more like he would shout, “Get thee behind me Satan.”

Black America has been blessed with a teacher and a community that has been preaching since 1930 that this is not the time for such foolish behavior–but the time for collective action to plot and pursue a future for ourselves. That man is the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the community is the Nation of Islam. The madness of the season bypasses the followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Since we have been taught that X-mas is really a celebration of pagans and wickedness, we shun such observances and are granted a reprieve from the stress induced by the drive for spending and mass consumerism.

We understand that this is the time of year to assess one’s current position as one seeks to make progress in the coming year. That progress won’t be found in unnecessary spending or ostentatious and expensive displays of finery, but in pooling our resources to do something for ourselves.

Joblessness, poverty, want, urban decay, government ineptitude, racial hostility and community disunity haven’t taken a holiday and aren’t problems that will be solved by more bling.

The solution to our problem is divine, rooted in the blessing we will receive by coming together and maximizing our unity in an attempt to save ourselves. The country is on the verge of total collapse with intractable political infighting and economic insecurity. It can’t solve its own problems, should we ignorantly hope for a miracle or should we act in our interest and build a future for ourselves and our children?

It is always the season to build and the time to celebrate the virtue and value of hard work and self-determination.