12.19.2011

Life Lessons from Good Ole' Dickens

If you saw my post yesterday, you know that I'm currently reading Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings. I like to read literature that goes with the Season. For example, Frankenstein for Halloween {or Wuthering Heights {favorite book}..it's kinda scary and Halloween-ish!}. You can also see by these three titles that I have an affinity for the classics. I love their use of language, the attention to detail, and the originally in their tales; but most of all, I love that there is more to the story-- there is a lesson to be learned. In modern literature, far too often entertainment trumps instruction. Which, I suppose, makes sense. If you wanted instruction these days you could just go out and buy a self-help book, right? 

But listen to these words penned by Dickens:
"[i]f your room be smaller than it was a dozen years ago, or if your glass is filled with reeking punch instead of sparkling wine, put a good face on the matter, and empty it off-hand, and fill another, and troll off the old ditty you used to sing, and thank God it's no worse...Reflect upon your present blessings- of which every man has many- not on your past misfortunes- of which all men have some."

I haven't even turned the first page and Dickens leaves me with these words to ponder. Reflect upon your present blessings...What a great reminder during this holiday season. Thank God it's no worse...He is in control of all seasons of my life and He's given me all I have, big and small. When was the last time I thanked His for my many blessings? All men have some {misfortune}...What makes me think my situation/experience is so terrible when that friend/neighbor/passerby on the street is experiencing some sort of misfortune as well?  

I think it is human nature to either dwell in the past or long for the future. We miss what we once had and long for what we do not have. But this Christmas Season, why not just be thankful for the blessings we do have? Of which every man has many...

Let's strive to be content jubilant this holiday season, whether there is an abundance of presents under the tree and we are surrounded by family and friends, or if we have fewer gifts this year than last and are far away from those we love. What if we all gave more instead of simply receiving? Who is less fortunate than you that you can reach out to? No matter how bad your situations is, I am sure someone nearby is worse off than you. 

Dickens' advice is timeless and the act of giving, and the humbling joy that it brings, is timeless too. 

2 comments:

Liz Brown said...

I love Dickens!! My favorite of his books is Bleak House.

Thanks for the timely Christmas quote. So true.

dina vanessa mercado said...

great post!!! we really need to be a blessing and to be used mightily by God to serve our purpose in this life.. love your blog!!! following you now..

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kissess!!!