Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Spirit of Christmas Carol

As a fable, "Christmas Carol" shows that people can change  and start to think about the greater good.

It is the holiday season and it is Christmas Eve, even though we may honor and celebrate the holidays in different ways, there are common threads to make best wishes; peace on earth, human progress, the abundance of wisdom, equal opportunity, empathy and more...  Charles Dickens wrote a novella, "A Christmas Carol", that we probably all have read at least once-always worth reading again, is it time to revisit the spirit of Christmas Carol at Christmas Eve?

What we can change and "hope" are very important elements of the story "A Christmas Carol.” Literature and music allow us an opportunity-a window if you will-to see the past though another person/character's eyes and to hopefully not repeat the same mistakes. Unfortunately, we are challenged today by the same things that Charles Dickens wrote about. We shall realize we can change, whether forced by circumstances or our own initiatives. Change happens whether we want it or not...A timely reminder. What we can change and "hope" are very important elements of the story "A Christmas Carol, “ it is so relevant for each of us to apply to the challenges we face today. The challenge that we all face in reading literature, listening to music that has a purpose and even viewing art is the challenge of transforming ourselves-changing our own heart and spirit.

Charles Dickens is shining the light on who we are individually and who we are collectively; and he is presenting Scrooge, ourselves and society as a whole, an opportunity/challenge/crisis to change our hearts and minds. Allow our own self-awareness to discover, learn and apply the message/life lessons to discover the true spirit of Christmas; not just for one day or one season, but each day-which is a gift that we have been given. It’s true indeed that each of us ought to take the time to listen to one another’s voice with the intent of understanding. It's so easy to get caught up in ourselves, for ourselves and miss the essence of communication with one another. It is the time to Giving, not only the food or clothes to warm the heart via sympathy but more importantly to SHARE the insight and wisdom to connect the minds and souls via empathy.

Dickens also wrote, "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." Now that's something worth aiming for. But the insight he added to this was that it is us, each one of us, that forge the chains - and equally it is us that have the power to remove them. If the chains he spoke about are injustice and brutality, each one of us can choose not to hand our humanity over to either one. We can instead choose to lead and to work with kindness and insight, each is making a small contribution to removing those chains. We all have the capacity to choose love over hate, good over evil, and demonstrate good will to all mankind. Isn't it great how this story's symbolism and lessons we learn from it can transform, enlighten, empower us to be more self-aware/mindful of people/life around us. Christmas carol points out that humanity needs to remember that money is important, but not everything.  Leadership needs to provide guidance and assist others in the success in their lives as they assist the company with its success. Different leadership styles look at business first and members second that's good for long term as long as both are prosperous.

"A Christmas Carol" is a brilliant and timeless story. Technology is more advanced, the skyscrapers have been built up, the information is only a click away, but, do people's minds sill lag behind the digital era we live in? Have the fundamental challenges facing mankind been overcome yet? This is an interesting comparison that reinforces the old adage " the more things change the more they stay the same". As a fable, it shows that people can change and start to think about the greater good. It's a wonderful parable about the power of the human spirit to find joy, to find purpose and a reflection of the truism that sometimes people have to be scared to their core in order to change and learn and grow. Changing ourselves is only possible if we are willing to take action and apply the lessons learned from this story. Otherwise, it's just another book on the shelf that collects dust.

Merry Christmas to You!


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