And, John Lennon asked, what have you done? These days, we -- the collective we -- do little that is noble. Everywhere we look, Folly appears to be in the driver's seat. But, every year at Christmas, we are reminded of another kind of folly. It's not the folly of what we possess, but the folly of what we give. It's perhaps best expressed in O. Henry's short story, The Gift of the Magi. The final paragraph of that story is famous:
The magi, as you know, were wise men—wonderfully wise men—
who brought gifts to the newborn Christ-child. They were the first to
give Christmas gifts. Being wise, their gifts were doubtless wise ones.
And here I have told you the story of two children who were not wise.
Each sold the most valuable thing he owned in order to buy a gift for
the other. But let me speak a last word to the wise of these days: Of all
who give gifts, these two were the most wise. Of all who give and receive
gifts, such as they are the most wise. Everywhere they are the wise ones.
They are the magi.
Such folly is wisdom. May we have more of the same in the New Year.