A Christmas Carol

On 19th December 1843 “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens was first published. Over the years the story has been retold many times on stage, television and film. The main character Scrooge has entered our language to depict meanness – I used it in my last post, Free Christmas Present.

Scrooge is depicted as a financially wealthy character – a successful businessman – but someone who is a total failure in all other aspects of his life.

“External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty.”

Being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future he is able to see the impact of his life on others, and the fact that no one would mourn his passing. Scrooge wakes on Christmas Day a changed man. Basically he starts giving, rather than just taking. Suddenly the habits, the character he had developed over a lifetime melted away. He was given the opportunity to change overnight, and seized it.

“Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.”

If only it was that easy to change in real life. But why isn’t it? What holds you back from changing? What would the ghost of Christmas future be showing you if things remain the same? Ultimately “A Christmas Carol” is about reflecting on our life, past present and future.

My favourite Dickens quote is

“Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.”

This is something I have suggested we all should do, especially as a way of building confidence. I was trying, unsuccessfully, to find where that last quote came from. But I did find another quote – a Buddhist Saying – that I think sums up the message of “A Christmas Carol”

If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.

With that, I wish you all a Happy Christmas.

Karen (Karooch from Scraps of Mind) December 25, 2007 at 3:33 am

Some great thoughts there David. A Christmas Carol is compulsory Christmas reading for me every year.
I think that most people lack the motivation to make fundamental change in their life until something drastic or frightening happens to them.

Robert @ reason4smile December 25, 2007 at 4:12 am

Great message, David!
That’s the power of living fully today.

“If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.”

Today is the happiest day in our life, some options what we can do today in my message @

Merry Christmas to you!

Albuquerque Homes December 28, 2007 at 3:19 am

A Christmas Carol is my husbands favorite holiday movie. The lesson you can take from it are just fantastic. What a great Buddhist saying you have quoted. Found you via Michael Martine’s blog. – Ashley

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