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A Christmas Carol | Lessons in Kindness

A Christmas Carol | Lessons in KindnessMost of us are familiar with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, a timeless classic for the Christmas season. Maybe we read the story at some point, or we've seen a film or theatre version of the work that Dickens wrote in 1843. After all these years, why does A Christmas Carol still resonate with us, no matter our walk of life? I think it has something to do with love, family, and our common humanity.

Let's remember Ebenezer Scrooge's otherworldly midnight journey on Christmas Eve. At the beginning of the tale, we see Scrooge consumed with greed. His sole concern is profit and efficiency. No charity or goodwill from this wealthy businessman; Scrooge even expresses the hope that "surplus population," the poor and homeless among us, should hurry up and die. But after being visited in his dark and lonely mansion by long-dead business partner Jacob Marley, Scrooge is shocked into moral awareness. Visits with the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future show him how his heart grew cold over years of financial success coupled with miserly unkindness. Thankfully, there's still some shred of compassion left in Scrooge's heart, and he is able to change the future for the better by bringing joy into the lives of others.

As a trust litigation attorney, I operate in a tough environment - will contests, estate battles, and disputed trusts are often a far cry from the love and togetherness a family feels at Christmas. My clients are on the receiving end of challenges and misfortune, and it's my top mission to protect them in harsh and unforgiving circumstances. Still, I take Dickens' message to heart, especially at this time of year. It's a great reminder to remember charity to those less fortunate than us, appreciation for the blessing of our families, and to forgive and be forgiven. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

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