Please indulge me the opportunity to take one more lesson from “A Christmas Carol”, this time compliments of CBC’s “The Current”. Today host Anna Maria Tremonti was interviewing author Judith Flanders about some surprising aspects of our Christmas traditions. When speaking about the Charles Dickens classic, Flanders pointed out that the real lesson of Christmas was not Scrooge spending his way into making up for previous miserliness. Rather, the character Dickens uses to communicate what Dickens wanted us to take away was Scrooge’s nephew, who very early on in the story says to Scrooge:
“I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creature bound on other journeys.”
While we here in Canada do not have to overcome centuries of the ‘above’ and ‘below’ class structure of a Dickens England, we are nonetheless well reminded to count those around us as all on the same journey…this Christmas, take an extra moment to show compassion to your “fellow passengers”!