2022 has been a difficult year for many, and, rightfully so, many of us are feeling weary this Christmas.
One of my favorite Christmas Carols is O Holy Night. Every year when I sing, “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn,” my hope in humanity is restored.
I believe, at least while I am singing the song, that things will soon feel less weary.
It’s not just O Holy Night. It’s all the songs and traditions that go along with Christmas that make me feel a little more hopeful.
Take Ebenezer Scrooge, for example.
Year after year, we watch various retellings of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and we rejoice at the end when Scrooge learns his lessons and becomes a changed man: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
If Scrooge can change and embrace the spirit of Christmas all year long, anyone can!
Keeping that in mind, let’s reflect on what A Christmas Carol can teach those of us who strive for self-reliance.
Survival Lessons from The Ghost of Christmas Past
The first ghost that visits Scrooge is the Ghost of Christmas Past. He takes Scrooge into his past to allow him to see what choices he made that have shaped who he is today (in the present).
As survivalists, we understand the importance of learning from our past. We strive to learn lessons from history, so we don’t repeat them.
That’s why our Survival Scouts often pay tribute to historical survival stories, such as Survival Lessons from Pearl Harbor, Survival Skills We Can Learn from The Pilgrims, and What Early American Small Towns Teach Us about Survival.
Similarly, we need to look at our own past and learn from our mistakes.
When it comes to being a survivalist, what mistakes have you made that you can learn from?
What items did you forget the last time you went camping?
What survival skills do you need to review?
Taking time to reflect on your past helps you stay prepared for the present and the future.
Survival Lessons from the Ghost of Christmas Present
When the Ghost of Christmas Present forces Scrooge to reflect on who he is, he is ashamed to see how he is perceived by others – and how his actions are affecting those around him.
The Ghost of Christmas Present allows Scrooge to see his world from a different perspective. He suddenly is aware of the needs of others that he hasn’t recognized before.
When it comes to preparedness, an idea we stress is staying aware.
It’s very hard to prepare if you are unaware of the possible dangers around you.
For instance, we all need to be aware of the numerous power plant failures in 2022 because there is a big possibility we will have to deal with a lengthy power outage ourselves.
It’s not just staying aware that helps you survive life in the present. It’s also who you surround yourself with.
As much as we stress self-reliance at My Patriot Supply, we also recognize the importance of knowing your neighbors and building community.
In the event of a disaster, these are the people you will need to either help or get help from.
Survival Lessons from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
When The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come visits Scrooge, the ghost takes him to a cemetery and shows him his own grave.
At this point, Scrooge begs for a second chance and recognizes he needs to change.
This is because Scrooge has learned the age-old lesson of “you reap what you sow.”
He understands that he cannot continue living the way he is if he wants his tomorrow to be different.
The main reason people stock up on survival gear and emergency food is because they want to survive.
Knowing death is a possibility for all of us, survivalists plan and prepare.
We don’t get a visit by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come to know what may happen if we don’t prepare, but we do know that failing to plan is planning to fail.
Preparedness doesn’t solely focus on surviving death – it can also mean preparing to survive an unusual situation, such as a nationwide cyber-terror attack.
Learn from the past, stay aware in the present, and prepare for the future.
Charles Dickens ends A Christmas Carol this way: "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!"
Remember the lessons of A Christmas Carol all year long, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply