As if it cost a fortune
“He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ’em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it had cost a fortune.”
—Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol
In a book filled with memorable quotes, this description of the jolly Mr. Fezziwig stands out as one of my favorites. Over the years I have often reflected on these words with respect to both my employers and those employees I have supervised. But the truth expressed here goes beyond employment, touching all our relationships with others. The power we have to brighten or darken each other’s lives is wonderful and a bit terrifying. In countless small ways, we can create happiness as great as if it cost a fortune. Let’s use this power wisely.