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Learning Through Observation

Life can teach us many important things if we learn to observe what goes on around us.   

What is the outcome from bad choices?  What happens when greed or anger are played out on the stage of life? 

In the past two years I have had the privilege to be involved with a local community theater. The theater encapsulates tiny portions of life and hands it to us in the form of entertainment. When we look beyond the drama of the stage for that defining moment of understanding ourselves better, our lives can be enriched. 

The Christmas Carol is such an opportunity. As a participant in this production which opened this last weekend at a local performing arts center, I am able to get involved with the story.  

In this traditional Christmas story, we can learn many lessons of life that we can apply to our own lives. One of the most important is that we are not a victim to our past.  

As the story unfolds, we see played out on the stage the results of choices made by a lonely, unhappy, rejected and forgotten young lad that crystallize him into a heartless, stingy, greedy, and loveless old man. Scrooge made goals that left no room for love, marriage, fun, compassion or joy. His choices left him lonely and friendless.

Life can be heartless and hard. But Dickens reminds us it is how we react to hard times that is important.

The Christmas Carol is a story of redemption. The ghosts of Christmas past and Christmas present come to give Scrooge an opportunity to see how his choices have hurt him and others. The ghost of Christmas future gives him a chance to recognize, repent and redeem himself.   

Throughout life we will be confronted with difficult choices. And we will make many mistakes. It is part of the human condition. But we can learn from them. It takes courage to acknowledge, admit, and change directions.  

There are many opportunities for reflection

Many choices become a habit – a way we have chosen to live our lives. When things continue to go wrong, we have an opportunity to stop and reflect on those choices.   

How often do you find yourself blaming others for your problems? What grievances do you perpetuate and inflate that keep you stuck in a past filled with resentment? 

Choices that promote forgiveness, grace, understanding, compassion, and love may be hard to make at times, but they are the ones that open the door to happiness, contentment, opportunity and exciting new opportunities .

Marlene Anderson

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