Christmas is the time of year that is based on traditions more than any other time of year. They may change slightly from generation to generation, and adjust as the kids get older, but for the most part remain the same. One thing that has become a staple of Christmas tradition in the media is that certain movies air around the holiday to the point that they are becoming a cliché. It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart posits the message that as an individual one person can make a difference in the lives of others, and they are not totally worthless. Beyond that movie, A Christmas Carol, a movie based on a novel, is mostly thought about on a superficial level.
Although the book was written during the Victorian Era in England, the message is timeless and has moral implications throughout the year. Putting this in a modern day context, Bob Cratchit is the true protagonist of the story despite the name recognition of his boss, Ebenezer Scrooge. This statement rings true because Scrooge is portrayed as being villainous, cruel, and does not have an interest in using his power to improve the life of his employee. However, everyone is the hero in their mind which explains why Scrooge is shocked when the ghosts force him to step outside of himself and view events. This is an interesting point of view for a person to have because that is the best way one can analyze a situation.
What makes this story powerful is that Bob worked closely with Scrooge and was not treated as some amorphous entity who controlled Bob’s life from a distance. Having a personal relationship, no matter the nature, highlights the fact that people exert their influence over others, and suffering is not always cause by some divine act that is beyond rational understanding. In modern society this is becoming less and less the case because companies have increased in size and people become unnoticeable to the top brass. Employees and their concerns have become invisible to the managerial class which creates so much discontent throughout society. The nice thing about this being a fictionalized story is that it allows for a happy ending which is not always the case in real life.
More people are in Bob Cratchit’s situation than they realize, which is a blind spot that hinders not only progress of the working person, but much needed empathy that would improve society overall. Much of this has to do with a lack of interaction with others, thus making us unaware of their plight. Because people do not think through complicated issues too deeply, those who tend to be well off fill in their stories with generalizations and stereotypes that are specious at best. Due to the lack of interaction and concern from the managerial class, it becomes imperative that we remember that our neighbors are in this position and we should at least be understanding if not helpful. It falls to organizations like Making It to The Finish Line to assist our brothers and sisters who are in dire straits because we are familiar with the plight of the working class. Christmas is the best time of year to think about how we can help others, even in small ways. Small things do add up to big things down the line.