No space of regret can make amends for one’s life opportunity misused.

Charles Dickens, in A Christmas Carol

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Christmas is a good time to think about how one has spent one’s time, lived last year and the years past.

In gift-giving is there not honor of others, appreciation for who they are and have been?  Their love?  Presence to you and others?  Is it not a time to celebrate others as the Christ Child so celebrates God’s love of us, His vigilant concern for us in the gift of Himself to us?

One would think those who claim to lead might wish to ask: Have I misused life’s opportunity?

Those who would lead are not bashful, nor are they self-reflective.  No, self-assertive, but not self-reflective.  Yet, no one can lead who has not taken full account of themselves.  Why? There is no wisdom or humility, nor honesty or courage in such people.

Those who assert that they can lead must ask the “Christmas Carol” questions: How have I failed? Deceived myself and others? Avoided responsibility?  Sought power for its own sake?  Or money? Who exactly have I helped? How have I sacrificed?  Served selflessly?  Have I been truthful? Faithful?  Have I loved and does it show?  Am I honest?  Do I defer to others?  Build others up?  Or do I simply tout myself? Consistently put others first and not thought about myself, fed others before I ate?

The President’s recent remarks as to how others stir up the fear in the working class was, frankly, remarkable, revealing and disconcerting.

He foisted the responsibility for the fear felt by Americans as to terrorism on the media and its reporting of the Paris Massacres and one Republican candidate for President.  He took no responsibility for the fear or for our economic decline. Worse, he chided others as if he was an innocent bystander with no earthy responsibility to lead, or for his own policies, relative silence, disengagement and inertia.

He, in particular, would wise to ponder Dickens’ words: No space of regret can make amends for one’s life opportunity misused.

He might do so while on his million dollar Hawaii Holiday.

What has he learned from Scrooge?

What have others learned who seek to lead?  What have they all learned from A Christmas Carol?  Have they met the Ghost of Christmas Past?  Or is theirs a life of self-assertion and self-flattery as opposed to honest self-reflection?

There is only one I Am.  We celebrate Him and the birth of His Son on Christmas.  Who do the would-be leaders celebrate at Christmas?

If you think they celebrate themselves – send them packing; let that be your Christmas gift to them, to yourself and your loved ones – especially to the children here and those to come.

Shalom.

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