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3 Things 12-25

12/25/2020

In the inaugural edition of 3 Things, we said there would be times when we would not be talking about finance and numbers, etc. Today's edition is one of those occasions.

Merry Christmas!

THING ONE

The Meaning Of Christmas

In A Christmas Carol, his classic story written in 1843, Charles Dickens explained to us, through the evolution of his main character, Ebeneezer Scrooge, what he thought the meaning of Christmas was in a way that was both powerful and entertaining

In 1889, a writer for The American Magazine, who appears to have read Dickens' work, put it this way:

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"To give up one's very self – to think only of others – how to bring the greatest happiness to others – that is the true meaning of Christmas."

In 1965, Linus Van Pelt explained it to Charlie Brown and the rest of us by reciting The Annunciation to the Shepherds.

Time changes lots of things. It doesn't seem to have touched Christmas yet. Here's hoping it never does.

THING TWO

It’s Us, Not Them – Pogo Was Right

From the Pogo Comic Strip circa 1971:

(Pogo and Porkypine are walking through the forest)

Porkypine: Ah, Pogo, the beauty of the forest primeval gets me in the heart

Pogo (noticing all the trash dumped there by people): It gets me in the feet, Porkypine.

Porkypine: It's hard walking on this stuff.

Pogo: Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.

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Pogo's punchline is a great reminder, if you can stomach the results of the honest self-examination it suggests, that we as individuals bear responsibility for the circumstances of our lives. But that’s a tough exam to take. So it comes as no surprise that many of us prefer to retreat to the comfort and supposed safety of an aggrieved group that has identified someone or something as having caused us undue harm. From there we petition the powers that be, who stand ready to share in our pain and "fight" with us against the declared enemy, to provide a remedy that appropriately addresses our grievances. The problem is that time we spend trying to conquer them keeps us from ever truly equipping ourselves to vanquish the real enemy. Pogo was right. The real enemy is us, as individuals. Our unwillingness to point the finger at ourselves and keep it fixed there when looking for solutions to our problems is a greater impediment to our individual progress than any of the external factors that are commonly assigned the blame.

It's been said that the hardest thing to change is your mind. That is true, but everything gets easier after that.

Thing Three

Just A Thought

"Human behavior flows from three main sources, desire, emotion, and knowledge." - Plato

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