Mark Caserta: Christmas an opportune time to reflect on the chains we’ve forged

22 Dec

me

Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

Dec 22, 2017

scrooge

 

Just a few days away from the most magical day of the year, I find myself reflecting on the lyrics from the first stanza of John Lennon’s 1971 Christmas song, “So this is Christmas.”

“So, this is Christmas. And what have you done? Another year over. And a new one just begun.”

This question is particularly thought-provoking for those who’ve been engaged this year in the state of our country, our city and our fellow man. Regardless of your political or religious persuasion, I think most would agree we’ve seen an unparalleled level of quarreling and animosity among people this year.

A few years back I wrote a Christmas column entitled, “Perhaps we should reflect on the chains we’ve forged.” I keep a copy with our Christmas decorations. Each year, when my wife has me carry the decorations upstairs for her to magically transform our home for the holidays, I’m greeted by the newspaper clipping resting in “mechanical” Santa’s lap!

Here’s a modified excerpt from my 2013 column.

The brilliance and imagery of the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol,” offers a timeless reflection of the magical consequences of human kindness.

Of his tale, Dickens wrote, “I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.”

And “haunt” us it has for over 170 years with its sustained relevance for mankind and its sobering look at the sanctity and opportunity of life.

Ebenezer Scrooge was a man, lost within his own maize of anxiety, stripped of his compassion for others whose significance diminished as his wealth grew.

Yet, while unworthy of his journey of recompense, Scrooge was given an opportunity to witness the chains he forged in life from the third person as he was led on a journey by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

I can only surmise Dickens chose Christmas as the setting of his tale of repentance because of the depth of purpose he envisioned it had for his fellow man and the opportunity it offered for reflecting upon one’s life choices.

I believe, however, Dickens is prompting us to invoke similar introspection.

How would your journey fare with the three apparitions? What chains have you forged?

Life’s choices in today’s world are exceedingly complex and follow a path dimly lit and laden with distractions unique to our times.

Ebenezer Scrooge had some ghostly mentors to influence change in his life and Dickens ensured his tale allowed Scrooge to alter his future.

Unfortunately, none of us have Dicken’s script guaranteeing our life tomorrow. And all too often we find ourselves wishing we’d made better choices or extended unselfish, random gifts of kindness to others.

I suggest using Christmas, as Dickens did, to reflect upon the chains we may have forged in life and begin working toward reducing the links.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

 

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