Scrooge 2.0

I was thinking the other day, about how popular the story, A Christmas Carol, still is today. Charles Dickens first published the story in 1843. Dozens of versions of the story have been made into movies.

When someone is called a Scrooge, we certainly know what they mean. It isn’t good.

But, if you think about it, it is kind of unfair to old Ebenezer.

He was an awful person. Stingy, cold and uncaring. But he changed. Isn’t that the whole point of the story?  In Scrooge’s case it took three ghosts to wake him up. The point is, he woke up, before it was too late.

So I think we all have the chance to choose which Scrooge we want to be. We can be the first Scrooge, who makes poor Bob Crachit work long hours, for little pay, and cares more about money than people. It is a pretty lonely life.

Or we can be the second Scrooge. Scrooge 2.0, if you like. This is the guy who learns to love again. He learns to care and to find a generosity of spirit. According to the story, he lived the rest of his life that way. Better late, than never.

So what makes someone the new and improved version of Scrooge?

Well, the obvious stuff is to be generous. Which does not have to mean giving money to people. You don’t have to give money away. Heck, you might not have money to spare. But if you can afford too, sharing some of it is a nice thing to do.

It is about being generous in spirit, though. Spending time with someone who needs the company.

It could mean donating your time to a charity, or just helping out a friend.

It means trying to accept people who think differently than you. This one can be hard- trust me.

It means not assuming people are poor because they are lazy. There are lots of reasons folks may be down on their luck.

It means being more patient.  This is one I need to work on- especially in traffic!!

It means treating people with love, rather than hate.

It means trying to find value in people- even if it isn’t always obvious.

It means being a little less judgemental.

Be nice to kids.

Be nice to animals.

It means loving yourself. You deserve to be loved.

 

I know there are plenty of the old Scrooges out there. Call me an optimist, I think a lot more people are like the new Scrooge. The Scrooge who knows what really matters in life. Most of those people didn’t have to be visited by three ghosts to figure that out, either.

I am also not sure we can change other people to be more caring and loving, at least not as easily as Dickens did. Dickens had three ghosts to help him out, after all.  But we can work on ourselves. In the end, only we are responsible for how we treat other people.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be in the post- dream Scrooge world? Surrounded by people who open their hearts to others, people who give, not for recognition, but just because it is the right thing to do.

I know those people are out there. I know a lot of them. I am blessed to have a lot of people like that in my life. I hope you are, too.

 

Happy Holidays.

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