Ebenezer Scrooge

One of the world’s most famous people never really lived. Yet every year in December, we talk about this famous tightwad from Charles Dickens’ book A Christmas Carol.

As you’ll remember, Scrooge has little regard for other humans until he’s visited by the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley, on Christmas eve. Marley, a discouraged spirit, warns Scrooge that he’ll also be visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future during the evening.

Those ghosts do appear. The Past reminds Scrooge that his miserliness distanced him from a woman he might have married. The Present transports Scrooge to the happy home of his employee, where he hears himself described in unflattering terms. The Future cautions Scrooge to mend his ways, and start helping those who might give his life happiness.

Scrooge takes their advice, and begins to share his time and fortune with others.

The secret: We can’t rewrite the past, but we can rebuild the present, and then strive for a more positive future.