The king shared fond memories of a meeting with children at the palace earlier in the year. The king had been asked to tell them about his duties and his job of writing a Christmas address. One child spoke up saying that we should be happy to live in a beautiful country like Belgium. King Filip agrees! "We should look with amazement, with a glance that sees more than that which is missing" he said. "Despite our personal problems, insecurity and the upsetting of political balances in the world we should dare to view things differently."
The king noted that the way we view things determines our actions. "Those who glance at nature with amazement, will show greater respect. What goes for nature, goes much more for the people around us. In every one of us, behind our weaknesses, there is internal beauty that should be mined."
The king also rekindled memories of his visit to a care home for the elderly where the care team helps residents to rediscover all the beautiful things that shelter within residents: "We discovered beautiful people. They can look at growing old as a source of hope."
King Filip noted that amazement fuels creativity. He shared a memory of his visit to a project in Namur in Wallonia that clearly impressed him: “Ingenuity was stimulated by bringing technicians, entrepreneurs and artists together”. King Filip believes that only with creativity will we find the solutions for the great challenges of our age and the future of our planet.
The King of the Belgians asked us to be amazed about everything that we have built: "Our commonwealth is the result of a long history of unity anchored in solidarity and compromise. This should give us the power not to give in to sterile cynicism and indifference.”
The king cited as an example a meeting space in Sint-Gillis in Brussels created by youngsters, a 'factory of solidarity'. "This visit was an enormous enrichment" he said. King Filip also spoke of a recent visit to Vilvoorde in Flanders where he met youngsters from the ethnic minorities who are working on projects for social integration in which they rediscover their sense of value. "The beauty in their eyes spoke volumes" he said.
King Filip concluded his address by pointing to the growing number of sources of tension and crisis in the world and urging us to choose in favour of amazement for the future of our children before wishing us all a merry Christmas and joyful new year.