The Power of the Present


the power of the present

Every Christmas, I always get in my dose of Ebenezer Scrooge.  It reminds me of the power of the present, and our ability to change overnight.  This year, I saw Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol and A Flintstones Christmas Carol.  Yeah, not exactly the same as George C. Scott, but, I also got to see a live performance of A Christmas Carol.  What a great performance.  The following line stuck with me:

The present is fast fading. Live it and love it.  For soon it will be gone.

As the lights faded to black, the delivery of that line, along with the scenes from Scrooge’s life really helped to punctuate the point … life is short … embrace what you’ve got, and live life fully.

While I didn’t get to see as many versions of A Christmas Carol as I normally do, I was glad I got to see this local community theater production.  It was incredible.  In fact, it was the best performance of Ebenezer Scrooge I’ve ever seen.

With this Scrooge, you could feel the pain he felt as he experienced his choice of money over love.  It was more than sadness.   As his body trembled with sorrow, you knew he was inconsolable.  People in the audience cried softly for this Scrooge.

As you can imagine, these scenes of a forlorn, heartbroken, and miserable man, really helped to contrast his personal transformation to a spirited, cheerful, and joyful one.

The beauty of the story is that it does not dwell on how Scrooge lost many of his years to bitterness and misery.  It’s not a story about his opportunity lost.  Instead, it’s a story of opportunity found.  It’s about rekindling the fire inside and a love for life.

Above all, it’s about making an impact on the people in your life.

And what a powerful ending to the story:

“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.”

The end of the story was actually a new beginning.

And it all started with how he lived the present.


  1. You related Scrooge’s pain beautifully. More importantly you’ve provided the powerful lesson born by that pain.

    I just happened on a quote directly relevant to that theme:
    The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
    —Leslie P. Hartley

    Yet as Scrooge learned & as you remind us, it’s not too late to start living life, to live it to its fullest, & to do so starting NOW!

    Thank you for the timely reminder, J.D., well done.

  2. @ Jimmy — The irony is I thought I was all Scrooged out, and then seeing it live made all the difference.

    Well, I’d seen it live before, but this was outstanding. The cast truly brought the story to life.

    I especially liked how deep the transformation was.

  3. I just watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time last night. It touched me as much as “A Christmas Carol” touched you. The greatest present one might share is truly the gift of presence, each day 🙂

  4. There is something about live theater which simply can’t be beat. Like you, I’ve been moved most by long-known stories when seeing them performed live.

    But, more to the point of your post, making an impact on the people in your life (right now) is amazing.

    Remember, I had mentioned to you that one of the outcomes I wanted for this month was to create excellent Christmas memories for my grandchildren?

    From daily advent calendar participation to their night time words of wonder and amazement last night as they were tucked in, and all the “little things” they’ve done this month make me think I can say, “Outcome achieved!”

    Thanks for helping me better understand the “outcome” way of approaching different aspects of my life.

    Oh yeah, there were glitches along the way, of course. But, overall the desired outcome happened. Cool, huh?

  5. Thank you so much for this timely reminder that life, love and joy are a choice and a beautiful gift.
    Family times can be beautiful and challenging. This inspired me to remember to forgive, live in the present, and let go of the past.
    Today, my perspectives and choices can impact the outcome of today!
    I so appreciate your work. Know that you are having an incredible impact on the world!
    Thank you.
    Much Love,
    Krista – Canada

  6. @ Joy — It’s a Wonderful Life is a classic. I try to watch it each Christmas.

    When I first saw it, I only saw part of it, and I thought it was a miserable life. It was only when I saw the full movie later on that I realized the wonderful part, was the impact George made on the lives of others.

    How true.

    @ Yvonne — Well done. It’s very cool.

    I think creating excellent memories is among the most powerful ways to make an impact.

    What I especially like is that you started with the intention, the outcome, and used that to shape your days.

    What happens then, is it gets a lot easier to see what’s valued, and what’s not. It gets a lot easier to let go of the noise, and rise above any situation, as well as step into our experiences more deeply and make our moments count.

    @ Krista — Thank you.

    Your words inspired a sticky little idea for me — that so much in life is about challenges, choices, and change.

    Our challenges are the stories in our life. They are often the most meaningful moments. They expand what we are capable of. Our choices test us. We shape our way forward through choice. Our choices give us a chance to do what we know, or to learn for next time. And, as we choose, we create change in ourselves, in our situations, and in our stories.

    The value is in the change, and the change is our story.

  7. Hi J.D. I really am able to switch to the present when I find myself “worrying.” ‘Cause worry is not the Now. It’s a great present to be in the present.

    And….. Happy Holidays!!


  8. @ Jannie — You inspired a nice one-liner reminder for me:

    Don’t miss out on your “present.”

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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