Mindful Lessons from Scrooge
When this season of sparkling lights, music, laughter and the sweet fragrance of cinnamon and nutmeg fill the air, it is my time to take in the sappy Christmas movie marathon, curled up on my couch with my partner and sometimes my children.
One of the movies I have enjoyed over and over again is the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. There have been so many versions of this story on the movie screen and I have enjoyed all of them. As I watched it for the possibly 100th time (I exaggerate ), I ponder about the growth of Scrooge’s character into a kind, compassionate and empathetic human being. “Bah..Humbug” you say ?
Scrooge in the early stages of the story is this miserly, mean man whose only goal in life is to have money, make more of it and part the least amount of it possible. After he is visited by the ghosts of the past, present and future, he reflects on his life and make changes.
Now, I get this is a fictional piece. But the qualities of Scrooge are not and neither are some or all of the choices he makes – haven’t we all been there ?
Scrooge learnt a few lessons through that experience and perhaps sharing that will allow us to bring more meaning to our holiday season. I thought I might share some of them.
Simplicity : The almighty dollar that makes the whole world spin, isn’t the be all and end all in life. Money is a tool that facilitates little comforts in life. We make more money now that we did before but have less abundant lives, have less time to enjoy what the money can buy and mostly miss out on the simple pleasure of life . There is something to be said about the benefits of living simply, clearing out what we do not need. Scrooge decides to change after he realises that money is not everything and love and relationships are the most important things in life. Take time this season to enjoy a walk with loved one, play together, cook together and get to know each other.
Learning : When I was younger, one of my goals was to learn something new each year. It didn’t matter what it was. When visiting my family in New Zealand, my niece Rachel reminded me of that tradition – she had on her list to perfect the art of making brownies. Learning is growing. Learning doesn’t necessarily come from a formal surrounding. Take stock of your experiences and learn from mistakes. Use what you have learnt to make better choices as Scrooge did.
Gratitude:The thing about the practice of gratitude is that when you are grateful for what you have –
you will always experience abundance.We might have less than some people but we also have a lot more than some. Scrooge observes Bob Cratchit’s family being grateful for the little they have
Service: Being in service to others in many way makes for a very fulfilling life. Take your children to the local food bank to volunteer or give yourself the permission to be kind and generous to a young able bodied homeless person without judgment – Do something – anything and feel your heart soften. More importantly watch how it changes people and lives around you.
I wish you a happy and peaceful holiday season.
See you on the other side of 2016.
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