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Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy,forbearance, and benevolence were, all, my business. The dealings of my
trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!

–Jacob Marley, A Christmas Carol

The words of Jacob Marley ring down through the years. At the time Dickens wrote his novella, “A Christmas Carol”, England was experiencing a renewed interest in the practice of Christmas. At a time where there were no soup kitchens, no social safety net, and the gap between the haves and have nots was the size of the Grand Canyon; Dickens touched on the importance of charity and goodwill towards others. His words helped to spark a new interest in Christmas.

The idea of reaching out and helping others has always resonated with me. I’ve long had a belief that it’s my job to care about my fellow man. This isn’t something done because I get a reward. It’s not done because someone tells me to. It’s just what you do.

Julie Whitt believed in helping her fellow man. She was the 2005 Body for Life Grand Champion in the inspirational category. She took charge of her health so she could undergo a double lung transplant. Julie was one of those people who always reached out to help others. She had a kind word for everyone. She believed that it was her job to inspire and lead others to a better life. She did that one person at a time. I remember stories about her sending supplies to help people with their Body for Life Challenges after Katrina. Right up to the days before her transplant, she kept reaching out to help others.

She died on December 19th, 2005. Unlike Jacob Marley, Julie made mankind her business. There was no chain for her to drag through eternity. She lived a good life. Christmas isn’t just one day a year. The spirit of Christmas is something you should live year round. Julie did that.

Dickens and Julie are two of the people who inspire me this time of year, and year round. It’s not my job to get ahead of everyone around me. It’s not my job to show people how cool I am. Mankind is my business. The lives and well being of people around me are my business. Doing the right thing, and the common good are my business. It’s not always easy, and it isn’t always profitable in the way most people expect it should be.

Yet the value to me is incalculable. I live with Christmas in my heart year round. I’m happy, I believe in the wonder and glory of impossible things, and I strive to share those with others. It’s a gift without price, and it is the easiest gift you can ever give.

Make mankind your business. You’ll never regret it. Merry Christmas to all. And as Tiny Tim said, “God Bless us, Everyone!”

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