Holiday Notes

Some Additional Holiday Thoughts

Just watched the most painful segment on 60 Minutes about people in Cleveland where their homes are underwater. . . . They owe more than the houses are worth. I simply am at a loss for how such people are being treated. It makes one so angry, and, yet, you feel so helpless to help them, but we MUST! All the tears will not help them. All the words won’t help.

This afternoon, I saw the Ford’s Theatre production of A Christmas Carol. It was wonderful. It should tour every town in America. Grown men were crying, as was I. Scrooge sees the light! It should be seen by every bank official in this country. It is not so much the individuals at the banks as it is the institution that is earning the cold reputation of Scrooge. Will these institutions find the compassion that Scrooge found? Will they look back on their histories and find their souls?

It is hard to understand why banks will foreclose and not attempt to lower the principal that is owed to them. Instead, they let the houses stand empty — soon to be looted of anything that has any value, thus driving the value of the house toward zero while creating another homeless family. I was fortunate to grow up in a home, a house that cost $5,000 — a house that my father built with help from his father and from my mother. I remember the payment that Mom would make out each month to the bank. That house gave me some sense of security. I was taught to respect the house, my home, to do right by it, to be a good boy in it, to be proud of it.

A house without people is nothing but a house, no different than the other foreclosed houses. It is the people that make the life of a house, that make the cold floors warm, the stale smells, sweet. What about the value of family, of loved ones, of children with their cries and shouts of joy? I cannot believe there is not a way to save these houses and, thus, the people that give them life. Knowing what has been done, what can we now do? There is not a more timely play to be seen than A Christmas Carol. Perhaps Scrooge can light the path of compassion.

Again, have a lovely and loving holiday.