For the last few years I have come to dread the Christmas holidays, but not for the usual cliché reasons. It is my aversion to watching the usual Christmastime television movie “favorites” when everyone suggested we turn on the set and watch. I always do, but find myself getting unusually emotional. I tear up, my nose gets stuffy, and as result, I’d find myself turning away so no one could see me in this way. It isn’t just the sentimental shows that tug the heartstrings such as A Christmas Carol or It’s A Wonderful Life, but in the cartoons for children (and adults!) like The Grinch That Stole Christmas and the “venerable” Charlie Brown!
It was only recently, as I was wondering when this year’s viewing of the original version of the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, would come, that I had my epiphany, if I might call it that.
We are living in Dickensian times, more so this year than even in years passed. The state of the world, not just the USA where I reside, is a more “modernized” version of the same world that existed in Dickens’ England. We suffer from an even worse manner of environmental stress, the disparity between the rich and poor is becoming more extreme than what history describes as Feudal times.
But even more striking, and what seems to bring on emotions that might be misconstrued as sentimentality, is that I notice and feel viscerally the diminishing capacity, in general, of human compassion and empathy, a vanishing moral and ethical code. I see the narcissistic childishness of adults whose self-centered behavior makes regard for the commonwealth vanish like tears in rain. (The paradox: you would think even a selfish person might have sense enough to take care of the commonwealth if only for their own selfish reasons, no?)
So with all this that I observe, I can’t help but be distressed when I see the Grinch’s heart “grow 10 times bigger” when today’s Grinches’ hearts seem to be shrinking to a size where one needs a microscope to find them. Scrooge no longer awakens to realize the error of his ways and to rejoice in his humanity. Today’s Scrooges are not only content to wallow in their own misery, but enjoy ratcheting up the misery and “putting the boot on the throats” of the unfortunate. My eyes well up with tears and my heart gets heavy as I realize how far too many of us have strayed from the “ideal”.
This, hopefully, will one day change. I know that our intention is to achieve forward motion to reverse this savage trend, and to bring love, brotherhood, common sense and wisdom to humankind.
I know that one day soon , I can revel in Tiny Tim’s line, “God bless us, EVERY ONE!” and it will bring a tear of joy to my eyes (and a smile to my face) rather than the tear of sadness that humankind has given in to the “darkest part” of the soul, obscuring the light.
It is time for another awakening, to move out of this “age of endarkenment”.