In Dickens’ timeless Christmas Carol we meet Ebenezer Scrooge, a joyless bachelor who just can’t seem to muster one drop of generosity for any being on earth, not even his amiable nephew, Fred. In spite of Ebenezer’s outright hostile response to his nephew’s invitation to Christmas dinner, Fred remains steadfast in his kindness toward his uncle.
Let’s all try to be more like Fred.
May we all embody the spirit of Fred this Christmas and find the open-heartedness to respond (not react) to ill will, prejudice, and self-centeredness with empathy, equanimity, and joy. May we remember the sufferings, even those of the insufferable and grumpy, the narcissistic and greedy, and model compassion, believing in the miraculous fact of our mirror neurons, and their ability to change the mood of those with whom we interact. In other words, please remember that meanness and kindness are both contagious.
Scrooge’s nephew obviously knew a thing or two about the power of even-mindedness. By practicing empathy, or at least keeping our own Scrooginess in check, we are more apt to experience positive emotions. Over time the increase in positive mood-states can soften any tendencies we have to be harsh. These tendencies are detrimental to our own well-being and to the well-being of others who witness our Scrooginess.
So for your own sake as well as for the Scrooges in your life, I wish you the ability to be like Fred!
Not a scrooge fan? Check out another Fred we love:
Happy holidays! We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day this year!
Still struggling with Scrooginess? Contact us.