One of my Favorite Christmas Traditions – and a Lesson

One of my Favorite Christmas Traditions – and a Lesson

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I like to read this at the beginning of the Christmas season to put me in the right state of mind to really enjoy this holiday. Regardless of your religious beliefs there are wonderful lessons to be learned from this story and every time that I read it I learn a new lesson about life and being a better human being.

One of the lessons I picked up this year comes from a comment that Scrooge makes about his former employer Fezziwig. In response to the ghost of Christmas Present, challenging Scrooge on his own terms in respect to the power of money, of whether Fezziwig deserves praise for bringing joy into others’ lives Scrooge responds, “He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count em’ up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”

Think about this for a second and how it relates to our everyday lives. We have the power as individuals to make the lives of those around us happy or unhappy; to make other people’s service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil.

You have this power over everyone you encounter whether as a father, a wife, a son, a daughter, an employer, a boss, an employee, a team member, a neighbor, whether shopping in a store and how you treat other shoppers or workers, how you act driving down the road in how you treat other drivers.

Everything we do affects other people. We can have an impact on the world around us either positive or negative in how we treat other people in matters so slight as our words or a look.

As a father and a husband I need to be very mindful of this because the smallest negative comment, harsh word, or angry look can have very negative and long lasting consequences on my relationships. I need to remember the words of Scrooge that this power lies in words and looks and that the things I do and say can have a powerful effect on those I love or come into contact with on a daily basis.

We should always approached life in a spirit of wanting to put positive feelings out into the world. We need to be cognizant that the smallest things we do can have the biggest impact. Saying please, thank you, and excuse me can eliminate negative feelings. Practicing patience, good listening, and genuine caring and compassion can strengthen relationships and heal wounds.

We don’t need to be rich to make an impact in the world. We only need to care about every human being that we come into contact with. We need to treat all people with dignity and respect. Christmas can be a great time to remind ourselves of this and a wonderful time to start practicing it. But don’t let goodwill and kindness end when the Christmas season is done. Continue to find ways to practice kindness in the world.

Make an effort to begin a daily practice of kindness. Start at home being conscious of every word and action you commit to ensuring that you are engaging with those you love in a positive manner. And as you go out into the community extend that same practice to strangers, on the road, at work, out shopping.

Remember that you have great power in how the things you do and say affect other people. Use that power wisely and compassionately to bring about a more peaceful world.

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