"Most of All, Beware This Boy"

Last night at 3:30 a.m. I got out of bed and cut my hair as a sign to God and the universe that I was going to keep my schedule today. Walloped with a hellhound virus for a week. I was determined to be at A Christmas Carol with the family, and I was. The piping hot wassail they sold in the lobby kept me going. I bought a second cup for me and Xander at intermission.

I came home and slept in bed with my Sunday shoes still on.

Fearing starvation (the last thing I cooked was on Monday) I went to the store with my wife, and heard my cousin Tracy hail us down in the parking lot as we exited. You know two cousins have gotten chatting when her patient husband, Chick, zooms up in their jaunty sports car and rolls down the window to exclaim, with his trademark grin, "I wondered where my wife was."

If I have been paying attention, occasionally in this life I meet people that I KNOW I knew in the life before. Tracy is one of these.

You might think I'm exercising artistic license. I am not. Tracy, my cousin Joy, my wife Charmayne -- I was with these people before being born into this world.

Speaking of people I knew before this world, sitting in the play today with Xander at my side, here are the words that grabbed me:

“Oh, Man! look here. Look, look, down here!” exclaimed the Ghost.

They were a boy and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing...

“They are Man’s,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased..."

If children learn, it is because we have taught them. In 2014 the world today is filled with children "pinched, twisted, and pulled into shreds" because "Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing."

Plato's Allegory of the Cave proves (!) that some of the things we know existed before this world. Anyone who cannot recognize these things is blind. These are the only things of worth when this world is gone. (With four funerals in three weeks, my family knows something about the word "gone.") How we teach and treat our kids is one of these things.



...Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!
“I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!” Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. “The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me." ...He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit, and his face was wet with tears.

Today, people mis-remember the meaning of Scrooge as a symbol of someone rich who refused to share. Not at all. Scrooge was a man who, until his fateful day, did not understand what Plato knew.

"He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!" 

If I were gone today, this is what I would have Xander, Conrad, Ada, Dominick, Zach, Cora, Gwen and Ryleigh know. 
Merry Christmas. :) -- Caleb