Lessons From the Classics: A Christmas Carol.

Charles Dickens probably had no clue when he released his novella A Christmas Carol in 1843 that it would become a Christmas tradition for almost 200 years. Some people might dismiss the book as nothing more than the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a self-centered miser who receives a visit from four ghosts on Christmas Eve. These visitors force Scrooge to reevaluate his selfish behavior. It’s a tale of introspection, rebirth, and a life that has been given new life. The timeless holiday story teaches us the following things.

When Scrooge turns down Fred’s invitation.

Fred, Scrooge’s nephew, is an intelligent man. Fred makes the observation that “(Scrooge’s) having a dislike to us, and not merry with us, is, I guess, that he loses some good moments… he loses pleasant friends” In other words, by turning down Fred’s invitation to join in the holiday fun, Scrooge ends up losing.

Bitterness is compared to eating poison and expecting the other person to die. Wrong. We are the victims of our bitterness.

Realization of truth changes life!

When the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge Ebenezer’s headstone, he exclaims, “Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on that stone.”

The realization that there is an end to that existence—and it’s a gloomy conclusion—finally causes Scrooge to realize that he has wasted his life on wealth and power.
To be motivated to make changes immediately, one must live with the end in mind. The most extraordinary moment to plant a tree was, as someone once said, fifty years ago, but the second-best time is right now.

You get Love when you spread Love.

One of the first actions Scrooge takes on Christmas morning after learning he has been given a second chance at life is to throw open his window. He moves from self to the world at large. Instead of focusing just on himself, he observes life around him. To notice is to see. To see is to feel. Connecting with those around us begins with our ability to feel. And creating connections is a way to spread love.

A Fresh Outlook can change life…

On Christmas morning, he tells us that starting afresh drenches us in freshness. I’m a baby, he admits. “Never mind, I couldn’t care less. I would rather be a baby.

People fall into ruts and forget that they don’t have to stay there. If we’re prepared to start over, there is hope for every one of us, as demonstrated by Scrooge’s turnaround.

Every Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge instructs us well on this lesson.

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