The Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, is an inspiring story about a greedy, grumpy business man and how people perceive him in a generally moral, loving society.
When the spirits force him to witness the joyful, loving attitudes of the people around him...when he is confronted with real poverty and suffering...he is ultimately persuaded to fundamentally change his ways. He becomes kinder, more generous, and the community instantly forgives and embraces the new, improved version of the old man.
The story is inspiring, but it occurred to me in watching the 1984 TV movie version of the tale, that there is a fundamental flaw in the story as it relates to today's society. Today, poor families are generally not as loving and joyful as that of Bob Cratchett. Employees are not grateful or respectful to their bosses. Nephews do not invite their uncles to celebrate holidays. Kind words and gestures are not appreciated. In short, all of society is now comprised of Scrooges.
In the fictitious world of A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is the cold-hearted, greedy and slightly psychopathic misfit surrounded by good, moral people with traditional, family values. Today, however, the vast majority of people think and live much more like Scrooge than any of the other characters. It is the joyful, loving, generous, kind-hearted person or family that is now the misfit. Such a person is rarely appreciated, at least openly and publicly, in a community where hearts and minds are closed like Scrooge.
No matter, we misfits can continue to shine our light of love, friendliness, kindness, and inspiration anyway. It is the right way to live, the optimal state of being in this dark world, even as we might dream of a better society.
This is for the few who are willing to trade suffering and drama for healing and joy.