is more than deeds.
It is an attitude,
an expression, a look, a touch.
It is anything that lifts another person.
“Walking in the Air”, performed by Libera (courtesy of Libera Official):
“A simple smile.
That’s the start of opening your heart
and being compassionate to others.”
The Dalai Lama
Courtesy of Beluga Lagoon Films:
The book reviewed today could be described as a work on kindness, the greatest of virtues, all others stem from there. Great writers were often helped by the kindness of others, and wrote about kindness as a deciding factor in achieving success in life. They are role models for all of us, don’t you agree?
1812 – 1870
Courtesy of Charles Dickens:
It is acknowledged that Dickens was the greatest English writer, the most ingenious one, in a class of his own. His books seem not to have been plotted by the writer but traversed with his gift of observation and inspiration, as physically present and psychologically unfathomable as possible to engage his genius. He leads his reader down murky alleyways, misleading avenues, often strange and vivid, a world of dreamscape, so compelling that it isn’t easy to put it down.
Below is a medley of the carol Silent Night sung by Tiny Tim, the prisoners, the sailors on a hurricane-tossed ship, and as the last unmissable clip, a beautiful voice of a tenor, the Spirit on the hill.
A Christmas Carol
You know the story of this quintessential Christmas tale, but have you ever read it? So many times has the tale been told – in numerous stage and screen adaptations – that we are apt to think that we know the story very well indeed. Yet, no retelling comes close to capturing the humour, human sympathy, and kindness, the delicious spookiness, and ultimate good cheer of Dickens’s original narrative.
Courtesy of CBS Sunday Morning:
In less than a hundred pages, A Christmas Carol relates, with an imaginative richness that belies its brevity, how the crabbed soul of an uncaring old man, Ebenezer Scrooge, is summoned back to generous life by the visitation of four spirits: first the shade of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, and then the spirits of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come.
A compilation of interesting clips from the film with Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge.
The Ghost of Christmas Present
“King of the Cold” by Beluga Lagoon:
Through their hauntings, Scrooge is moved by fear and understanding to embrace the abandoned affections of his youth, confront the meanness of his current existence, and recognise the sordid end he will meet if he does not change his ways.
“Gabriel’s Message”, performed by Sheku Kanneh-Mason:
All of the author’s famous gifts are on display in this cheering fable of a miser’s Christmas Eve metamorphosis from misanthrope to a man of goodwill, including his talent for deft characterisation, for poignant sentiment, and for indigenous monikers; was ever any curmudgeon more aptly named than Ebenezer Scrooge? A Christmas Carol is my much-loved book and every Christmas I read the story and watch the film adaptation with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge, and cry my eyes out, moved by kindness the greatest virtue of all.
“The Pembroke Carol”, performed by The Choirs of Pembroke College, Cambridge:
The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come
An extract from A Christmas Carol:
“A churchyard. Here, then the wretched man, whose name he had now to learn, lay underneath the ground. It was a worthy place. Walled in by houses; overrun by grass and weeds, the growth of vegetation’s death, not life; choked up by with too much burying.
The Spirit stood among the graves, and pointed down to One. He advanced towards it trembling. The Phantom was exactly as it has been, but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape.
‘Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,’ said Scrooge, ‘answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of the things that May be only?’
Still, the Ghost pointed to the grave by which it stood.
‘Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,’ said Scrooge. ‘But if the courses be departed from, the end will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!’
The Spirit was immovable as ever.
Scrooge crept towards it, trembling as he went; and, following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name, EBENEZER SCROOGE.
‘Am I that man who lay upon the bed?’ he cried upon his knees.
The finger pointed from the grave to him, and back again.
‘No, Spirit! Oh no, no!’
The finger still was there.
‘Spirit!’ he cried, tight clutching at his robe, ‘hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope?’
For the first time, the hand appeared to shake.
‘Good Spirit,’ he pursued, as down upon the ground he fell before it, ‘your nature intercedes for me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me by an altered life?’
The kind hand trembled.
‘I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!’
In his agony he caught the spectral hand. It sought to free itself, but he was strong in his entreaty, and detained it. The Spirit stronger yet, repulsed him. Holding up his hands in a last prayer to have his fate reversed, he saw an alteration in the Phantom’s hood and dress. It shrunk, collapsed, and dwindled down into a bedpost.
Yes! and the bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!”
A typical Christmas feast in England,
in many homes now vegetarian by sparing the turkey
“The Huron Carol”, performed by The Choirs of Pembroke College, Cambridge (courtesy of Anna Lapwood):