Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hope For The Future

To my son Tommy,

There are many adaptations of the classic tale by Charles Dickens called "A Christmas Story".  I just finished one by Disney and it occurred to me how many people miss some of the more prominent lessons.  People come away from the story focusing on not being a scrooge and stories of Christmas triumph and large turkey dinners showing up to the deserving Tiny Tim, but they miss the lessons that are not seasonal, the lessons that are timeless no matter if the Christmas decorations adorn the streets or not.

One of these lessons is that the future is not set in stone.  We also learn that the only hope for the future is to understand the past, be knowledgeable about the present, and be thoughtful of what the future holds if the patterns of the past and present hold fast and do not change.  In times of tragedy when people ask what they could have done and what they should do now, these lessons ring truer than ever.

We must know what was and where we came from.  We must understand what brought us to this point in our life.  Without knowing the past we are destined to repeat the errors of the past over and over.

We must know what is going on now.  We cannot look through rose colored glasses or live with blinders.  We must be aware of our present condition and even more than that we have to be realistically aware.

Finally we must take time to predict the future.  We don't have to put on gypsy headdress and look through crystal balls to divine what is to come.  We just have to choose to see what is inevitable with the path we are treading on.

All this leads to choice.  You can choose to accept everything as is.  Many people do and that is why we tend to get more of the same.  However you can choose, like Ebenezer Scrooge, to have an epiphany that touches your soul and begin to change your ways so the future holds better prospects and a brighter picture. You have to take these lessons and adapt them to most every aspect of your life.  Our hope for the future of your life and maybe even for the future of our society, rely heavily on many of our young children realizing this lesson at a much earlier age than your old man did.  But then again Ebenezer was no spring chicken when he made his change so perhaps the hope lies in old farts like me making real change.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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