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December 2017 - Nr. 12
Merry Christmas and the best of Seasons from Echo Germanica
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief

Dear Reader

As I am sitting at my computer writing this on the 2nd Advent Sunday of the season, the Hansa Club has a Christmas singalong. It is the first time in many years that I am not there to participate. Somehow, I cannot get into the mood this year. The all around bad news in the world is getting to me. It is hard to pretend that all is well and that there will be peace on earth if we just fervently believe that it will be so.

Meeting friends at the Hansa Haus Christmas Fair
Meeting friends at the Hansa Haus Christmas Fair

I look around in my own small world and see that all is not well. People are scheming and cheating and generally behave badly. There is not much Christmas spirit to be seen.

A long time ago I read somewhere that we create our own emotions. If the situation we are in feels bad we should just “wax enthusiastically”, I recall it said, and it would soon be so; meaning that we should pretend to be enthusiastic about something and then it would become true. There were no other instructions than that as I recall.

I had opportunity to test this suggestion when I was once in a situation having to do something I absolutely hated. I started to sing while I was doing this necessary physical chore. I sang with gusto, all the while pretending that I loved what I was doing. Amazingly, after a while I did not feel my hurting body anymore and I did not mind doing what I was hating earlier. I felt good about it! I had come from feeling severe resentment to enjoyment!

So, it was true, I concluded, I could influence my emotions! I am hoping that I can influence my emotions this Christmas season by decorating the house and its surroundings, pretending that I love it. It should not be too difficult, because I usually love doing it. I just have too much on my plate right now. But if I follow through I know that I will be happy and enthusiastic about life again, by creating my environment and making it beautiful.

Something else comes to mind that follows the same trend of thought. This one is from an Indian poet and philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore. I am translating from the German version I learned from my mother when I grew up:


I dreamed that life was joy,
I awoke and saw that life was duty,
I acted, and duty became pleasure.


So, if you feel I a bit down now or any time, try waxing enthusiastically and experience how your dislike becomes joy!

Merry Christmas everyone!
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

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As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.
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Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, editor, editor-in-chief of Echo Germanica, comments, cultural, artistic, political, daily events, German-Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,

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