Yes, Santa Claus, there IS a Virginia

December 21, 2009: 11:35 AM ET

"DEAR BLOGGER: I am very old and live at the North Pole. All of my little friends up here say that there is no Virginia any more. Mrs. Claus says that if I see it on the your website, it's so. Please tell me the truth: Is there a Virginia? Signed, Chris (Santa) Claus, 115 Workshop Way, North Pole.

CHRIS, your little friends are wrong. They have been consuming too much media, and have been infected by the material that gains the most attention there. They do not believe that which doesn't rise to the top of the search stack or get the highest ratings 18-49. They think that nothing exists but that which is measured by hits, twitters and chatter, or makes its way by other means to the top of our collective mind.

You see, Chris, in this world of ours, all attention spans, be they those of children or of adults, are very tiny, very short, and very, very fragile. As we make our way through the vast cloud of information, entertainment, opinion, music, random noise and other forms of auditory, visual, and intellectual stimulation, each human being is a minuscule atom, a quark within the boundless physical and virtual universe that surrounds us. None of us can grasp the total picture.

Yes, SANTA CLAUS, there is a Virginia. She still exists as certainly as love and hope and childhood exist inside every person, as you know they do, shining unaided within each of us and lighting our way to true peace and joy that transcends this time and place.

Good Lord! How gray the world would be if there were no Virginia. It would be as gray as if there were no Santa Claus! There would be no song, no poetry, no rhythm to our existence beyond that which we can do and see and want and buy.  The eternal childhood that makes our lives have meaning would be extinguished. Not believe in Virginia! You might as well not believe in quantum physics!

Can you find her? Perhaps not by looking with your eyes. You might get your elves to scour the brick-and-mortar malls and online destinations, chat rooms and Facebook pages from one end of the world to the other on Christmas Eve to catch her, but even if they did not see her hanging out in one random location or another, what would that prove? Nobody sees Virginia, but that doesn't mean she's not out there.

Did you ever see an aura? Of course not, but that doesn't mean you don't have one. Or karma? Can it be measured? Certainly not. But still it shapes the length and color of our days. How about the Higgs boson? Talk to 1,000 scientists from here to CERN and not one will disbelieve in it, and yet nobody can find a single one, even with a trillion dollar accelerator.

There is a firewall between us and the unseen world. Only love, kindness, understanding, and simplicity can lift that veil. And in the end, amid all the noise and haste, what lies beyond is really all that matters, all that has ever mattered. No Virginia? Thank God, she lives, Santa, and she always will. Ten thousand years from now, when we have evolved into strange, unrecognizable amalgams of organic material and cybernetic wetware, she will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

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