The ghost of Jacob Marley said it best:
“It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellowmen, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!”
Marley’s chilling warning to Scrooge not only sums up the theme of A Christmas Carol but remains good advice 174 years after Charles Dickens penned his classic Christmas tale.
It took three more ghosts to get the message across to Scrooge, but let’s face it, there are few people in the world as mean-spirited as he was at the beginning of the story, so there’s hope for all of us.
Sending your spirit forth doesn’t mean necessarily getting out there and volunteering for a charity — though that’s a very good way. It can be as simple as a smile as you pass someone on the street, leaving a chocolate on someone’s desk, holding a door open, helping jumpstart a car or any of a million other little things you can do all year long.
The best part is these activities cost nothing, but the return on your investment is huge. Nothing beats that feeling of knowing that you made someone else’s day just a little brighter.
And that sums it up. End of editorial, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or what have you. No matter what your religion — or lack thereof — get out there and share some warmth and love on these darkest days of the year.
“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!”
– Steve Kidd writes for Penticton Western News.