2017-12-21 / Editorial

Dickens’ story still relatable, powerful

ANOTHER VIEW
BY MICHAEL DISTEFANO

My wife and I saw “A Christmas Carol” this past weekend at Trinity Rep.

While I didn’t think it was one of their better adaptations, there was deep enjoyment nonetheless.

It is the story that had the greatest impact on my childhood, and one that has left an indelible impression on my life. That’s because it contains a simple yet powerful message. It is the story of a mean and miserly man who awakens to his own humanity, and to the humanity of his fellow man.

It is a story everyone can relate to. We all know someone who has shut the warmth of the world out and their own warmth in. Perhaps we have even been that person ourselves at times.

Who can forget the childlike glee and fascination Scrooge experiences as he undergoes his marvelous inner restoration? Who among us isn’t moved by Scrooge’s joyousness over his powerful transformation? That’s one reason why so many people return again and again to see this performance.

It’s also because the themes contained in this Charles Dickens classic are timeless:

To avoid selfishness, be generous, and combat ignorance wherever we see it.

To share our humanity willingly, and freely, and without reservation or expectations.

To realize that by helping to lift another up, we also help to lift ourselves.

To recognize that by allowing the goodness and warmth of the world to come in, we help the best of ourselves to come out.

To enjoy and share the beauty that’s created by caring for one another. These are powerful messages we all should celebrate and perpetuate. Again, is it really any wonder so many of us have embraced this remarkable story of rebirth? You can feel it in the theater. After

the show, there is always a palpable and wonderful sense of community and charity. People are visibly infused with the spirit of shared humanity. Perhaps that is the REAL genius of Dickens’ story — that it makes us all realize we should inhabit the qualities of Christmas year round. That sharing and enjoying each other’s humanity should not be confined to an annual holiday, but should instead be part of all of our days.

So today, as you go about your business, think of what Dickens wanted us all to take away from his story . . . that MANKIND is the most important business of all. Is your humanity awake?

Michael DiStefano is an East Shore Road resident.

Return to top