We gathered with family and some of our North Carolina friends during the holiday season to celebrate and share several meals. The food was delectable and the wine most wonderful but best of all, we were together with wonderful people who are caring friends. We each follow our different paths and beliefs about ourselves and our worldview but we all are basically good people who have a common bond of love and trust for each other. We deeply care for each other and for our earth and fellow beings. We agree and disagree and enjoy our differences and our sameness. We do not try to change each other but savor our uniqueness and simply want to experience each other more profoundly. We laugh. Oh my, how heartily we laugh and it feels so good to our souls. We have become an ever-growing family of friends and relatives and increasingly need each other for the growing compassion and love we share. As we sit by the fire and contemplate the events of the past, we have come to realize that compassion is a pathway to answer not only our own issues but most of the world’s many problems. Compassion is not selfish. Compassion provides what a person needs most in their life. Compassion is Love. Compassion is the presence of a friend, a smile, a thank you, a word of encouragement, a helping hand, a simple meal, and many, many other small but significant actions that not only improve individual lives but lifts the spirits of everyone in the world and can actually change the course of history. We all say that we want to change the sadness of this world but we do not believe we can do it. However, we can start to make our tiny piece of the world better by having simple compassion for those around us and loving those that seem unlovable. You can make an incredible difference not only in your own life but in the lives of those around you and throughout the world. Make someone smile. It is highly contagious. Break into the darkness with your light for God is within you whether you realize it or not. Some say that we are God’s hands and if this is true, for good to prevail in this world it will certainly be by our hands. May peace, joy and love always enfold you and your families and may you be a blessing to the entire world.

With love and heartfelt blessings to you in the New Year and beyond, Walter

Picture of Walter Holder

Walter Holder

Walter D. Holder Jr., M.D., FACS is a semi-retired academic surgical oncologist with decades of patient care experience, medical and surgical teaching, and clinical and basic science research. He loves all things science and has been committed to scientific truth and integrity throughout his life.