Orlando, FL December 25, 2013—The office of mystery novelist Digger Cartwright has released Mr. Cartwright’s Christmas message delivered on Christmas Day at the Thinking Outside the Boxe Symposium and Champagne Summit in Orlando.
The transcript of Mr. Cartwright’s speech follows:
“Merry Christmas everyone. Thank you for being here, and thank you to Thinking Outside the Boxe for having me and for organizing this wonderful event. It’s an honor to be here for this annual symposium and to deliver a Christmas message. Thinking Outside the Boxe has done so much over the last decade to promote the free exchange of ideas in a civil and dignified manner and to examine problems and offer solutions in non-partisan ways. Their dedication to their cause is to be admired. We can all take a lesson from the hard work and tireless efforts they have put into the advancement of free speech and freedom. Their efforts to engage the public, stimulate minds, and promote conversation have all been aimed at strengthening our constitutional republic, making America a better place, and improving society and our commitments to our fellow man.
Christmas is a time of year from which everyone can take or learn something that makes the world a better place. You don’t have to be a Christian to benefit from the values that are at the heart of the Christmas season. People of all walks of life, of all creeds, of all faiths and beliefs, even those who do not believe in anything, and of all nationalities can relate to simple messages of peace on earth, goodwill towards men, charity, tolerance, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
We live in a world consumed with conflict, not just conflict among nations, but conflict among ourselves and our society. We live in a world consumed with the insatiable want for more and more material goods. We live in a world consumed with greed. We live in a world consumed with bitterness. We live in a world consumed with bigotry and intolerance for others. And while conflict, greed, bitterness, want and intolerance may always exist in the world, it is up to us as individuals to do our part in rectifying this little by little.
Conflict comes from anger and insecurities within ourselves. Bullies pick on the weak to feel better about themselves and boost their self esteem. They hide their own insecurities by initiating conflict and drawing others in as a way to satisfy themselves. We must seek to understand them and reach out to them with help and compassion. Conflict amongst nations arises from differences of opinions, politics, and cultural differences. We must seek to bring parties together, understand their differences, and bring them together to support a resolution that benefits all man. Peace on earth, goodwill towards men is a message that transcends borders, languages, cultures, and religions.
Intolerance and bigotry is alive and rife throughout the world. Yet those who seek tolerance of themselves are often the most intolerant of those from whom they seek tolerance. Tolerance is a two way street. Those who seek tolerance must also give tolerance. We must respect the opinions of those who are intolerant just as they must respect the opinions of those of whom they are intolerant. As a society, we must focus on that which brings us together as opposed to that which divides us. We must focus on the goodness and commonalities that bind us as opposed to the bad and the differences that separate us. In doing so, we must not let our individual identities be lost and we must not let our individual values be lost as well. But more importantly, we must not let our individual voices and opinions be silenced. Tolerance requires that we not stifle opinions, values or beliefs of others. It is rather for the individual to determine the worth and merit of those opinions.
The disturbing trend of secularizing Christmas shows a lack of respect and intolerance for those of the Christian faith. Yet those that seek the secularization of Christmas bemoan the loudest any who speak out against those of other faiths and creeds. America is a nation that was founded by Christians upon Christian values, yet we have been tolerant of those of other faiths throughout our history as a nation. Let us recognize and be tolerant of many faiths but not at the expense of denigrating Christmas or Christian values. Let us welcome all faiths here in America and let us be willing to recognize those who celebrate other faiths while keeping our Christmas season and the Christian values associated with the Christmas holiday.
We have become consumed with the acquisition of material goods. It is a disturbing trend in society that grows with each passing day. The retailer- induced frenzy around Christmas has taken the meaning from the holiday season and replaced it with the need for more and better material goods. Yet nothing is ever enough. Kids today want the best technology and the best toys. They see something and they want it or they want it because their friends have it or because it will make them popular or enable them to fit in with the cool kids. They want it because they have been convinced it will make them feel good about themselves. We have become gluttonous for material goods.
But Christmas isn’t about material goods and getting gifts. It is about giving; it is about charity. There are many good charities in America serving a vast array of needs. We should give to those in need, particularly during the holidays. We should give because it’s the good thing to do; it shows goodwill towards men. From those of us to whom much has been given much is expected. Let us give in the Christmas season more than we receive not because we have to do so but because it is the good thing to do. There are many people who desperately need more than we do. It’s not that they need the latest and greatest gadgets; it’s that they need the basic necessities—a warm coat, shoes, a blanket, food. Let us count our own blessing during Christmas and bestow what blessing we can because we are able to do so upon those in need.
And let us not forget that not only do humans need assistance during the holidays. There are many homeless animals in shelters throughout the nation who are looking for love and for a forever home. And let me assure you they will give love unconditionally and bring a joy to your life that can only be had from the simple pleasure of being a loving pet guardian. Open your homes and your hearts to them and help God’s innocent creatures when they need it most. You will be greatly rewarded for it.
And so as we celebrate Christmas and the birth of a man who stood for peace, love, and charity, let us dedicate ourselves to those same principles now and in the New Year. We are blessed to live in the greatest nation on earth and the greatest nation in the history of the world. We are blessed with safety, success, health, and abundance. Let us count our own blessing, particularly during Christmas, and reach out to those in need this holiday. Let us keep the Christmas spirit alive today, tomorrow, and forever in our own hearts and in our society. And always remember, it is better to give than to receive.
Thank you all, and God bless you and your families!”
About Mr. Cartwright— Digger Cartwright is the author of several mystery stories, teleplays, and novels including The Versailles Conspiracy, a modern day political thriller, Murder at the Ocean Forest, a traditional mystery novel set in the 1940s, The House of Dark Shadows, a psychological thriller, and The Maynwarings: A Game of Chance, a mystery set in the Old West. His latest book, Conversations on the Bench, is an inspirational/motivational novel. His books are available in hardback, paperback, and e-book format through his website, www.DiggerCartwright.com, on-line booksellers and bookstores. Mr. Cartwright has contributed to a number of articles on a wide range of financial, strategic planning, and policy topics. He frequently contributes articles, commentaries, and editorials focusing on current economic and political topics for the private think tank, Thinking Outside the Boxe. Mr. Cartwright is an enthusiastic supporter of local no-kill animal shelters, the Wounded Warrior Project, and local Meals on Wheels programs. He enjoys golf, participating in charity golf tournaments, and attending WWE events. He divides his time between Washington, D.C., South Carolina, and Florida.