Scrooge’s 6 New Year’s Resolutions
Ebenezer Scrooge, that prick, was grotesquely scolded and learned by three Spirits of vivid resolve. We all know the epic Dickens tale of moral lesson which helped a crusty curmudgeon change his ways just before the New Year…yet the Carol concludes with Scrooge giddily laughing and throwing cash at everyone and everything which might have been, is, or could be his blight.
I couldn’t help but think of a modern day privileged person claiming “but I give money to charity” and yet they continue with despicable, apathetic exploits with little regard for their environment, atmospheric or social. Charles Dickens states that Scrooge has become a “good friend, a good master, and a good man”, and I thought that was a gratuitous and slapdash judgment for a guy that simply bought a prize turkey and threw some coin around the street on Christmas Day.
Dickens leaves no doubt to reader that Scrooge becomes a better man…but how? He surely rode the tide of spiritual fear into the dismal year of 1844 with some New Year’s Resolutions right? After combing through the old Dickens this week….I discovered the Lost Resolutions of Ebenezer Scrooge from 1844 inspired by the revelations of the dirty ghouls of Ago, Right Now, and Later.
1. Give away a copy of your favorite book
Christmas Past reveals young Ebenezer in an old schoolroom reading “Arabian Nights”. Old Scrooge bursts out like a child recounting all the characters and stories of Ali Baba! He then mentions and cites Robinson Crusoe, and purls like a parrot “Halloa!” (It is worth mentioning these books were favorites of Dickens himself.)
Scrooge then claims he would have liked to give something to a boy singing carols at his door.
It’s evident here…the lesson is to give a copy of your favorite book to somebody you know.
2. Throw low budget but meaningful parties
Music, booze, cake, and dancing ensues as Scrooge looks on with his “heart and soul in the scene with his former self” at Fezziwig’s Christmas Ball.
The Ghost of Past critiques that it is absurd that Fezziwig should get so much praise for throwing this party. He spent just a few pounds to satisfy such simple and foolish people.
Scrooge makes his first astute observation here, that the host has given more happiness to his guests with his commitment and service to his guests than could ever be measured by the monetary value of food or drink.
Throw a party no matter what — -and put in everything you can into the greeting and welcome, the conversation, and the goodbye.
3. Laugh more!
The Ghost of Present displays the scene at the home of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred. Dickens spends the better part of two pages describing the infectious nature of Fred’s laughter. Despite Scrooge shunning Fred in the opening of the story, Fred always seems to maintain high spirits. Scrooge watches in awe as the parlor is led in laughter by Fred, all falling into stitches.
Laughter is really contagious…remember that video of the laughing train in England? Just try to watch this and not laugh. Have a tough phone call to make? Watch two minutes of your favorite stand-up comedian and then make the call.
4. Play Board Games
In the same scene at Fred’s Christmas party, the group begins to play parlor games such as a game of Blindman’s Buff. In this story, the game is a poor excuse for permitted molestation and touching for flirty couples. I did some research on this primitive game of tag…it has been around for millennia and was called “Copper Mosquito” in ancient Greece.
An easy reason to get together with friends, be social, and work the brain a bit. Here’s a cool list of some hot hits from last year….play some games.
5. Find out what the Hell you WANT
The creepiest part of The Christmas Carol is when Ghost of Present displays the symbolic disfigurations of IGNORANCE and WANT clinging to its feet. An unquestionable and hardly subtle critique by Dickens of the times…one begets the other…and these themes leave us with a lot to talk about to this day.
Take a look at what you really WANT and desire in life and try to assign a definite purpose. Through education, self-assessment, and training you can find it!
6. Pull your head out of your Ass
The Ghost of Christmas Future leads Scrooge through multiple horrific scenes of what is evidently Scrooge’s death, funeral, and divvying up of his estate. Scrooge never fully recognizes (or admits) his own identity in these scenes, either out of fear or denial I don’t know. Surely he gets the point however….but it reminded me of the problem of ego in so many affairs of today.
It’s not about you! Know yourself, your emotions, your desires, and be confident….but for cripes’ sakes don’t let your ego get in the way.
Dickens’s tale is chalked full of lessons, but I’d like to think that Scrooge went on to give away his favorite books (and money of course), party like a fool, laugh more, play games with friends, and seriously explore self-assessment and emotional awareness to determine his true purpose. He blindly chose a path to wealth over his lover in his younger years, a predicament and path that still presents itself today in the example of the old mundane job that pays the bills versus your passion in what you really want to do. You have a choice of the things that will be, of the things that may be!
Happy New Year 2016 and may your resolutions be pertinent in your desires and dreams.
“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if preserved, they must lead. But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change.”
Charles Dickens, The Christmas Carol