Are You Willing…
(by Henry Van Dyke)
Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts;
To try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow falls behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open—
Are you willing to do these things even for a day? Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world—stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death—and that the blessed Life which began in Bethlehem over nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of eternal love?
Then you can keep Christmas. And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?