Christmas and Charles Dickens (CD) will live forever although the original book Christmas Carol sold for just 6000 copies.
CD, as he signed his book, made more than just an impact from 6000 copies; Christmas Carol remains one of that quintessential part of Christmas that celebrates ‘kindness, forgiving, charity’, more than the original veneration of whatever it was meant to do.
But Dickens in this book through the character Scrooge, whom “no warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him; no wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty”, made a subtle point that ‘right to be merry’ and ‘right to be dismal’ need not be emblematic of the sirens of economy and profit, but act as just means to goodness.
Let it be a dry day for those intending profit. We live in times when the act of goodness must be itself a cause for celebration, as it remains far more dispersed in the veneer of other worldly pursuits that get preponderance.
Christmas Carol goes beyond that. It is also a sullen reminder that sometimes happiness and economic pursuits may not be acting in concert.
Scoorge and Tiny Tim would continue to co-exist as the lack of happiness is what would make its pursuit only more meaningful. Dickens only reinforced the possibility that wealth might not be the harbinger of either the absence or the fullness of what we pursue in getting to the borders of what constitutes happiness.
Christmas is also about gifting each other and O Henry’s short story, the Gift of the Magi takes us closer to this very happy-sad moment associated with gifting, which must be sacrifice.
Much of the gifting today had shifted to Christmas cards, which is a way of remembering our dear friends, family and colleagues, customers and suppliers, stakeholders of all kind.
Why single out Christmas cards, the tradition of sharing gifts around this time, unlike the gift of the Magi, is on a silent retreat. One dollar and eighty seven cents as in O Henry’s tale, written in 1905, now although valued at more than Hundred dollars, would not make a world of difference to the exchanges that can be made as long as credit is forthcoming and the virtual world of internet allows one to be as far drawn away or as near for vows to be transacted. But Christmas Cards would still remain that semblance of remembering someone, no matter how small the gesture, but more joyful than the sense of profit that a smell of a gift would usher.
The Season is ripe for gifts of all kinds; let us gift “efforts” to our fellow beings, customers, the Firm or to some good cause as well.
Studies on human behavior have shown that gifting for fellas is common under the harshest conditions; war is replete with examples where a stronger fighter on a common cause will help the weaker; absolutely similar wage earned by two soldiers will not stop the stronger to help the weaker such is the nature of sentiments amongst fellow beings. If a sharp distinction is made on wages based on ability, when all are working in the same group, it could be a hindrance to them collaborating on a task; at least this does not work in war like situations. Honor and pride cannot be denominated always through a wage distinction.
Would one gift effort for ones fellas at a work place? Would a group combining on a task with another group gift their effort to make work better? Would an individual sacrifice part of his keeping for the greater good?
Well, these are not entirely hypothetical questions; some of them have been tried and tested. If a work group combines to raise the average of the group, the ethos of the work group is predicated on the sentiments of collaborative effort, which is more than the sum total of individual effort as without the sentiments the sum would have been lower.
Gifting good efforts would do a world of Good. That remains Values of Christmas.
Long Live Dickens and Merry Christmas!