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Joseph: Lessons on terror from Buddy the Elf

Posted: December 10, 2015 4:38 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Lately, I’ve hesitated to turn on my television for fear of being pelted with disturbing news of further terrorist acts across the globe. I have to believe many share these same propensities. It’s hard to ignore the barbaric cowards responsible for spreading these heinous acts, their terror over much of our world. We hear journalists, politicians, government leaders speak words like, “these are uneasy times” or “we live in a different world now.”

However, we can make positive changes in our daily lives to lessen our uneasiness. We can be proactive in varied ways to feel safer and to keep our families safe. We can master our fear by mastering our ignorance about this “new” unsettling time we’re in. Knowledge is power. 

This knowledge doesn’t quite, however, answer the looming questions of how a person actually gets to this level of evil and what really drives these disgusting acts. Screeech! (That is me putting on the brakes!) No! I refuse to entertain these topics here. Besides, it’s the holidays. The Christmas season is upon us and we should be spreading good cheer, not swallowed by fear and terror. Right? Spreading good cheer equals a win for the home team and a loss for the terrorists.

So, this has got me thinking about one of my all-time favorite movies (as childish as it may be), “Elf,” and how Buddy the Elf can teach good, solid lessons to the likes of the evil ones. Can you imagine Buddy standing before the terrorists with a large plate of spaghetti engulfed in maple syrup? 

Buddy would start by telling all of us to be present and live in the moment. If we can live in the moment, we put aside worries about the future and regrets from the past. There is no mind chatter; it’s all about what we’re doing at that given moment. Life lessons from Buddy the Elf might include the following positives:

The best way to spread cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Make smiling your favorite and do it often.

Be yourself, even when it’s hard to know who you are. (Buddy was human but raised by elves.)

Give out compliments freely.

Take risks.

Speak your mind even when it’s not popular or “PC” (politically correct).

Let life excite every day. 

Show affection.

Do what you love and remember, work sucks, but you have to do it.

Tell your story no matter how different it is from everyone else.

Enthusiasm is invaluable and contagious.

Go above and beyond your call of duty.

Appreciate the little things.

Do nice things and help others.

Be honest.

First impressions aren’t everything.

Never stop believing in the truth.

Say, “I love you” to the people you care about.

Stand up to bullies.

Embrace nature.

Look both ways before crossing the street.

Sleep is for the weak.

Never ever call a person an elf.

Candy and maple syrup are two food groups but gum on the street is not good to eat.

Santa does not smell like beef and cheese.

Don’t be too strict on your diet.

You can never have too many Christmas decorations.

Always keep an open mind; people may surprise you.

Singing in public is awkward.

Snowball fights can be brutal.

It’s OK to fail, just try again.

Offices can be a drag but you can always visit the mailroom. 

Never ever give up.

And remember, there’s a reason it’s called terrorism; it says it right in the word: “terror.” It’s an act meant to instill terror and fear in the everyday lives of human beings and when we begin to change the way we live because of fear, the bad guys succeed. Buddy the Elf would tell us that when we live in the moment, the good guys win. Thanks, Buddy!

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