Piute County School District,

Piute County residents are very familiar with long drives. A simple trip to Wal-Mart means at least an hour in the car. Traveling to major shopping centers on the Wasatch Front or Washington County requires a whole day. Those long drives can be a great opportunity to enjoy a good audiobook. During this time of year I recommend listening to a free audiobook called “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. 

I am sure you have heard the story, read the book, or watched one of the dozen film adaptations. The book is in the public domain, which makes the text and the audio free online. Perhaps my favorite character in the story is Scrooge’s nephew Fred. The intensity of his optimism is inspiring. His logic about forgiving kindness is worthy of religious study. 

Fred’s first words in the book are “A Merry Christmas, Uncle.” To which his uncle replies, “Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.” Fred then responds with the powerful insight, “What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.” Scrooge pointed to his nephew’s lack of wealth as a reason to not be merry, but failed to recognize that his own wealth did not make him merry. We have a natural habit of listing reasons for not being merry. We tend to try putting on the calendar when we will feel merry. We think we will love life when this or that happens. Now is always the best time to be merry.

Later in the book when Charles Dickens is describing Fred he uses this line “...while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.” No pandemic can spread faster than the smiles and joy we have to share. Laughter and good humor can spread from more than 6 feet away. All of our students need some good optimists in their life, as do we. 

Thanks for your light hearts and positive outlooks. I know a lot of laughs and smiles are planned for the next two days and beyond. Enjoy the season, 


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