Letter: Sister city mayor sends Christmas greetings

To the citizens of Jasper:

“He who does not have heaven inside himself seeks for it in the whole universe in vain.” — Otto Ludwig, German writer, 19th century.

The Advent and Christmas season is a time of symbols. Pictures and symbols mean words and messages. The pictures of heaven and the universe mean ourselves as human beings. My translation of the above quotation:

If we do not have Christmas peace in ourselves, we need not seek for it from our friends and neighbors.

If we do not carry Christmas joy inside ourselves, how will we offer joyful Christmas to our children and family?

If we do not have Christmas hope inside ourselves, where can we get our optimism for 2014?

If we do not have peace of mind at Christmas, how should we charge our batteries for everyday life in 2014?

If we do not have Christmas contentment like the holy family in their poor crib, where could we seek for inner solace to make a difference between appearance and reality?

Give of yourself what you wish to get from others. Enjoy bringing joy to others without expecting return favor.

I wish you and your families a blessed and merry Christmas and a happy new year. Thank you for all encounters with our community during this year. I’m looking forward to those in 2014.

—Mayor Dieter Hahn
Pfaffenweiler, Germany

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