Christmas comes but once a year and the reflections of this year have not been a pretty one for many of us.
Like Ebenezer Scrooge, it has been easy to be self-absorbed in our daily survival as our world swirls around us. Like Bob Cratchit, we are equally concerned about keeping our position as we are about our family's future if that position is lost. Scrooge's business was lending money to others by taking ownership of their desires, even though many of his clients could not afford Scrooge's financial entanglements. This, not far removed from the folly of our Federal government's spending binge that has put us all in debt for decades to come.
Scrooge determined how to spend his money selectively and when asked to donate monetary assistance for the disadvantaged and needy, he made it clear he already supported many others on public assistance. But, if they were on death's door they should perish and "decrease the surplus population." Perhaps Scrooge was the forerunner of government run health care rationing and life or death alternatives.
Scrooge was reminded of his past as much as we are of it today. We are mixed with both great and bad memories that have shaped our personal history and our collective spirit. Americans cannot escape our founding or the Constitutional principals by which we base our freedoms upon. Ebenezer could not escape his past anymore than we should change our republic or the concepts that have upheld this nation for 235 years. Like Scrooge, who wished he could make his history disappear, there are those currently in power who wish to fundamentally change our historic legacy into something unrecognizable and, in so doing, erase the very essence of who we are.
Our Christmas present is a mixture of struggle in a time of want. Scrooge was shown what others thought of him, and even though they disliked his ways, he was given a level of respect that awakened his lack of empathy so he could see that he had been wrong in his treatment of others. Today's politicians should also take similar heed to the realities of those who placed them into positions of power. Otherwise, they may be haunted by their lack of empathy, action, and concern for the electorate they are supposed to serve.
When Scrooge asked the ghost of Christmas Present about Bob Crachit's son's fate, he was told that Tiny Tim's next Christmas would likely be his last. For Scrooge, the answer drew only a small glimmer of sympathy from his steely heart. Our economy, like Tiny Tim, is crippled and needs more than governmental handouts and useless stimulus programs that have not created real job growth. It isn't about feeling sorry for ourselves, it's about letting our market place heal itself as it has done many times without any government sympathy.
Unfortunately, Scrooge had to see the specter of his own death before he could admit his wrongs and seek redemption. Once he understood the gravity of his failures, he was able to become a force for good not only in his life but in the lives of many others. Shall it be that we are haunted by a dark world we cannot recognize, or will America redeem its promise of individual liberty, self-reliance, entrepreneurship, and less government for the free exchange of commerce and independence. Scrooge had no choice but to change for the better, and we should hearken to the promise of the season to make our next Christmas even brighter. For now, the reflections of our faith in God and his love of mankind shall glow warmly for those who know Him.
And as Tiny Tim said, "God bless us everyone."
FallstonCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun