A Message From Our President

December 18, 2012

Reflecting on This Holiday

2012-125-494SL.jpg   As a child in the fifties, our family had one of those cardboard, imitation fireplaces that were supposed to create a holiday mood.  It had a yellow light bulb with a metal fin thing that spun around creating the aura of a flame.  My brother and I actually thought Santa came down that fake chimney into our living room to deliver our toys!  We believed. We were safe. We were innocent.

Growing into adulthood, surrounded by the warmth of a caring family and the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas, I came to appreciate the Holidays even more. In spite of this comforting feeling at such a joyous time, I began to notice that sometimes things didn’t seem just right.

I began to really notice those Salvation Army bells – what was that all about?  I began to see people on street corners asking for spare change.  Toys for Tots, Goodwill and food pantries – the list began to grow.  And the nightly news often told of some tragedy such as a local house fire or national calamity with people killed in a riot or on the battlefields of a far off war.

As my awareness of the world around sharpened, I learned the hard reality that there are folks who are simply not happy at the Holidays. How could they be?  Homes destroyed.  Jobs lost.  Loved ones gone forever.

And so we find ourselves today - less than a week after the most horrific killing rampage in the history of our country. We mourn the loss of innocent children, stolen from us so early, who will never again wonder at Santa coming down the chimney.  Brothers, sisters and mothers, gone - never again to see the sights, hear the sounds and smell the wonderful smells of the Holidays.

As fellow human beings, our hearts ache for the loss of others.  The loss of children, and the parents who must bear this loss forever, rightfully dampens our holiday spirits.  But in the end, such a tragedy, as painful as it is, helps each of us focus on those things that really matter the most at the Holidays – family, love, charity and compassion for those less fortunate. To quote His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 'Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.”

At SCCO we have much for which to be grateful and celebrate at the Holidays.  We have a wonderful place to work, surrounded by caring friends and coworkers.  Whether helping an aspiring doctor reach her dream, or restoring vision to ensure a child’s success in school - our work helps people.  It makes lives better.  It makes the world a better place.

So as our hearts go out to the families in Connecticut, both Carol and I hope you find Joy during this Holiday Season. We will be thinking of each of your families…and promise me you will give your kids an extra hug!

Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D.