…An act of thanking that goes beyond the merely formal starts with an act of appreciation. But appreciation isn't easy. It requires perspective. You have to get outside yourself, turn off the endless mental scribbling that covers everything with cheap verbal graffiti….
…The central myths of our culture, religious and secular, are about redemption. When Scrooge wakes up after his dark night of the soul, he rushes to the window and is overjoyed to realize that he is still alive and that it's Christmas. And Dickens tells us that he celebrated life for the rest of his days. We want to believe him, but the truth is most of us, even after getting the horrific guided tour from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, remain clanking Jacob Marleys, bearing the chains we forged in life…