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Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: We can learn a lot from a Muppet this Christmas

Statler&Waldorf
Wikimedia, PicsArt
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At this festive time of year, my thoughts turn as they often do to the greatest holiday movie of all time: Muppet Christmas Carol. From the antics of our favorite Muppets like Kermit, Rizzo the Rat, and Gonzo to the catchy musical numbers and incredible acting of Michael Caine, this movie has it all. Heart, hauntings, and the evergreen message that money can’t buy you happiness.

I’ve watched this movie every year since I was a child and its relevance has grown just as I have. I’ve always loved this adaptation of the Dickens classic for the jokes, the Muppets, and the music, but over time I’ve learned to love the message. Charles Dickens and Jim Henson so eloquently remind us that life is about more than what you have; it is about what you do for others. Life isn’t about what you have or what you earn, but about who you love and what you give. The Christmas Carol also reminds us that those who rise to the top through greed and selfishness will find they got more than they bargained for. The message that strikes me right now is that there is no one too humble to be valued or too powerful for redemption.

So this year as I think about my Christmas values, my thoughts turn to the Elon Musks, Jeff Bezoses, and Joe Manchins of the world. You may find yourself hoarding your treasure, your power, and your position. But beware the first ghost when the clock strikes one…