Here’s a post I first ran in my Gazette blog on Dec. 3, 2008.
As much of the world starts going into holiday mode, I thought I would share an excerpt from one of my favourite articles about one of my favourite pieces of literature and movies, which always brings tears to my eyes.
It serves to remind us that the holidays are more than about shopping and gifts and feasting. — Jillian
Here’s the excerpt, with link provided at the end.
From: Mankind Is Our Business, by Ingrid Van Mater:
One of the most moving statements in (Dickens’s A Christmas Carol) is by Marley’s Ghost when despairing over “life’s opportunities misused.” Scrooge, trembling with fear and beginning to share in Marley’s guilt, says: “But you were always a good man of business, Jacob.” Upon which the Ghost cried out in anguish:
“Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
These words stand as an eloquent expression of our grand human purpose, suggesting that it is our inner thoughts and feelings, our motives, our priorities, which contribute to making our lives an emptiness or a fullness. What we are in our whole being is so much grander than anything we can measure by surface values. In Goethe’s words, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” The “comprehensive ocean” brings to mind the vast spiritual resources in ourselves, that ocean of truth within, that we are just beginning to discover. From this standpoint our routine activities in themselves are but a “drop of water” compared to our total duty or “business” as innately caring and responsible human beings.
— Ingrid Van Mater
Here the link to the full article: Mankind Is Our Business