Just a few things I'd like from Santa

Posted December 23, 2017 12:31 p.m. EST

DAYTON, Ohio -- I know this letter is a bit late this year, but I'm not asking your elves to make any gifts -- so most of this stuff should be pretty easy. Don't worry about ending disease, war, and world hunger. Those requests go to someone well above your pay grade. Here is what I'd like under my Christmas tree.

1. Neuralizer. You gave these gadgets to the characters in the movie "Men in Black." These devices were used to erase people's memories. I need a neuralizer that can be used to selectively erase memories of past hurts, betrayals, insults and bad experiences.

I'm constantly challenged in how to guide people to start enjoying today rather than lamenting what happened yesterday. Bad stuff happens to all of us. Many people get consumed by whining, complaining, and living life as a victim. These kids (and their parents) live a gloomy existence, never noticing and appreciating the love that surrounds us.

If it's not too much trouble, could you please add an adjustment on my neuralizer so that victims of abuse speak up immediately to help create a safer world for our children.

2. Niceness fairy dust. I'll need an extra large quantity this year to help deal with all of the anger, extremism and intolerance that surrounds me. Many people seem so self-righteous, feeling that their way of living is the only way. They consider other points of view as not just different, but deviant. Discussions are no longer a journey into understanding other's perspectives but rather debates about what who is right and wrong.

Please be sure that this fairy dust does not diminish the outrage that we feel about social injustices. We need that passion to continue to make us better people.

3. Technology time out. This may be a bit tough, but you are Santa. I'm afraid that our technology is progressing faster than our ability to learn how to live with it in a humane way. Our kids and their parents are retreating into a digital universe, with relationships being the major casualty.

We haven't yet figured out a way to shut off our phones, stop watching 24-hour cable news, and enjoy being around each other. Our workdays never end. The technological connection comes at a high cost, with more attention given to the pings on our iPhone rather than the person in front of us.

You get lots of letters asking for stuff, but I suspect you get very few notes of appreciation. Let me thank you for a wonderful wife and family, a new grandson, a great job, and the health to go running every morning.

Next week: Notes and quotes from 2017.

Dr. Gregory Ramey is the executive director of Dayton Children Hospital's Pediatric Center for Mental Health Resources. Email: Rameyg(at) This article appeared in the Dayton Daily News.

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