Bah. Humbug. Thank you.
There's snow on the ground. My girls were giddy as I took them to school today. It won't last, but it's a fun sight for north Texas in early December.
The New York Times published a fun little bit of history: The original manuscript for A Christmas Carol. Like I always do, I flipped quickly to my favorite part, about Old Fezziwig:
Dickens was writing about more than some silly feeling evoked by a season. He was writing about the simple acts of kindness that bring dignity and even joy to one's labors. You may not be a supervisor, but you probably have co-workers. You, by yourself, can make their existence a little more cheerful, and not in that schmaltzy way of greeting cards and tinsel. Every time you make a person feel welcome at their job, or proud of their work, you have helped give their life some more meaning.
“It isn’t that,” said Scrooge, heated by the remark, and speaking unconsciously like his former, not his latter, self. “It isn’t that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ’em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”
I'm not kidding about this.
Try to catch somebody doing their job well, and tell them that you notice it. And after chatting with a co-worker or a friend or even a family member, thank them for their time and conversation. (I learned this last one recently from my friend John Shirley, who teaches me small but important things, once in a while.)
Consider this my late Thanksgiving post. I give thanks for those around me-- even strangers-- who help give joy and meaning to my life.