The Scrooge Connection

Who doesn’t know about Scrooge? Who doesn’t know about the man who managed to be as icy as can be during the time of year when warmth is spread to all, Christmas?

I resonate with Scrooge. Yes, I said it; I’ll say it once more yet I will utter the words differently so as to make it stick. I understand and emphasize with Scrooge’s attitude about life.

Listen to a description of the timeless character, Scrooge.

Marley’s ghost, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843. First edition.

SELF CONTAINED

In stave 1 of A Christmas Carol Dickens, the author, describes Scrooge in the following way:

“self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.”

From A Christmas Carol

Scrooge’s desire was to be left alone. He’d endured past challenges in his life which caused him to withdraw. He was justified in his withdrawal. He suffered isolation as a child and loss of relationships among other challenges which led to his desire to be left alone. He wanted to protect his heart from further pain.

I understand this experience. Anxieties and pains of life cause me to draw into myself like an oyster. It is in this way I can protect myself and heal myself before I step back out into the world to interact and engage. And like the oyster once I open again a pearl will be there.

Some endure pain in like and turn inward. This is more than ok. When feel we must become self contained in order to heal from hurt we don’t deserve condemnation but support.

SELF ASSURED

The description of Scrooge goes on to state:

External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. 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.

From A Christmas Carol

One can read this and interpret it as Scrooge was unreachable, distant, and stubborn. I can’t read this passage as such. I read this and see that Scrooge is who he is without changing even for the weather. He has not come to himself without any strength of conviction. Though outside factors may have influenced him until the point where he was in the story, he will continue to be who he is regardless of outside factors.

At some point we must decide who we are without yielding to outside influences. The cold made Scrooge no colder and the warmth made him no warmer he settled into himself and was assured in that. This position takes time but once we become self assured we may second guess ourselves at times but we move beyond second guessing into self certainty.

SELF REGULATING

Self containment and self assurance do not mean one is stuck in their way indefinitely. By the final stave, stave 5, Scrooge changes his way. He moves from coldness to warmth, from frowning to smiling. After revisiting his past, seeing his present, and peering into his future he comes to the conclusion he must make changes.

I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocooen of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”

From A Christmas Carol

He starts the story uttering the words, “Ba Humbug” and finishes with the words “merry Christmas” on his lips. This shows that he is self regulated.To regulate oneself means to manage one’s attitudes and actions making changes where necessary and remaining the same where necessary.

After a visit from three different ghost Scrooge regulated himself by changing his disposition towards others and toward himself. He had a choice in all of this he could have remain the same or he could have made necessary changes to live a different life. Scrooge found a way to grow himself.

I connect with Scrooge because it is never too late to make changes in one’s life and grow. For Scrooge his life changed because of the arrival of three separate ghosts. The arrival of these ghosts helped him to reflect on his past see things afresh about his present and to project his current actions into the future and see what his actions could result in. Perhaps this might serve as a strategy for us to grow ourselves and to be different beings.

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