Monday, December 21, 2009

By Dickens' It's What Matters

One New Year’s I watched the Muppets Christmas Carole. It came to the point in the story where Scrooge stares terrifyingly at the grave asking the Spirit what it meant. I wondered why this came to be such a heightened crescendo of fear. To me, the most terrifying scene came before, in the murky tunnel, where thieves having taken his material possessions, laughed like craven witches. They had no care or compassion for this human being. All that mattered was what they could get for his items - and this, for me, was horrifyingly sad.

Scrooge’s name has become a synonym to being a miser. Yes, his heart had become hardened, but why? How did he become the man that we see when we first meet him in the story? We’re shown the pains of his past and the route he took to avoid seemingly future ones. When the Spirit brings him to the graveyard, to me, it's not the fear of death that haunts Scrooge, it's the fear of not having mattered. He's confronted with a life not truly lived, one where he'd holed himself up, barricading himself from all that matters, including not mattering to anyone. Perhaps this is my own fear.

I look at what truly matters in my life. Is it debts? Or is it times I've spent well with friends. I look at this story as a tale of living beyond fear because I don't want fear holding me back from experiencing what matters most to me in this world. What matters most in the world to me? It's what I discover and re-discover every day living here.