A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens will soon be coming to a stage near you, and i highly recommend going to see this Buddhist parable. A few years ago, i thought, Oh, no. Not Christmas Carol again. But our local theater company delightfully reworks this old chestnut every year, bringing more and deeper meaning to it.
To set the stage, so to speak, let’s first glance at the characters. The familiar Scrooge, who in modern-day parlance, represents the “Screw you” approach to life. Scrooge is a stingy man who worships the god of gold. His first name Ebenezer alerts us to the plot because Ebenezer means “stone of help.” Ebenezer Scrooge is a stone who, eventually, does help those around him.
Scrooge’s nephew is named Fred. If we trace Fred’s name back to the German Friedrich, we can easily see that Fred is a peaceful man (Fried). The -rich of Friedric harks back to the German word for ruler. (Think: Reich.) Eventually, Fred’s heartful attitude does come to rule even old Uncle Scrooge.
Tiny Tim lives up to his name, which means “honoring God,” when he utters the closing words of the play “God bless us, every one.”