Christmas Generosity [Marshall McLuhan Monday]


At Mass yesterday, Father stressed the importance of maintaining a generous spirit this Christmas season. Looking to Marshall McLuhan as an example during the Year of Faith, I found a nice story illustrating McLuhan’s generous spirit.

The story comes to us from Ryerson University alum Tony Joaquin:

I came to Ryerson from the Philippines on a one-year fellowship in radio and television sponsored by the Canada Council. I was the first Filipino and Asian to ever take such a fellowship in a North American setting.

During a briefing session at St. Michael’s College at University of Toronto, I met a passionate man of letters whose magnetic personality and keen mind I would later admire – Marshall McLuhan – and first heard his now iconic phrases ‘hot and cold medium,’ ‘the medium is the message’ and ‘the global village.’

As a student of mass media, I met with Professor McLuhan that fall and I likened those meetings to graduate study sessions.

One day, he paused in the middle of our chat, puffed on his cigar, and asked, ‘Tony, will you be busy on Christmas Day?’

And that’s how I came to be the only guest of Professor McLuhan and his family for Christmas lunch in 1959.

Whether you’re, like McLuhan, remedying someone’s Christmas loneliness, or simply chatting with friends and family, remember to maintain that generous spirit. Let’s be a gift, as Christ humbly and unreservedly gives himself.


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