Partners, Choices and Pathways

Christmas Eve

“I wear the chain I forged in life….I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.” 
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Every year at this time, I watch “A Christmas Carol” and consider the relevance of the message within our age.  Charles Dickens, an ardent social critic, understood his audience and the implications of his message. In its time, the book received instant notoriety and acceptance.  The narrative resonated within hearts awakened to the plight of those whom the Industrial Revolution had displaced and forced into poverty.  The universal appeal lies in the belief that a hardened heart can be softened, that generosity and kindness have the power to overcome greed and materialism.

“Marley was dead, to begin with … This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.” 
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

In the end, Ebenezer Scrooge vows, “I will live in the past, the present, and the future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me.”   This is indeed a happy finale.  Yet, my admiration is given to Jacob Marley, doomed to wander the earth with heavy chains forged by greed and selfishness.    Without Jacob, our dear Ebenezer would not have experienced redemption.  Jacob’s warning, given freely and without expectation for recompense, was the ultimate “good deed,” the catalyst for transformation.

The Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley partnership, which began when they were teenagers apprenticed in business, confirms decisions have profound influence on pathways taken.  One choice leads to another and another; life happens almost without notice.

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,’ faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.”

Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” 
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

In many respects, “A Christmas Carol” shares commonalities with the Richard Arkwright story. Consider we are at the beginning of Richard’s journey when he was full of youthful impetuosity and optimism. The partnerships formed during his life shaped his decisions and strategic direction.  In the end, he became a very rich man.

As we experience Christmas Eve, may it be said of us that we know how to keep Christmas well.

“God bless us, every one!”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

109 thoughts on “Partners, Choices and Pathways

  1. visit, read the article and thanks for posting your article is quite good and we hope that all our friends all success and thank you all, greetings Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to you and yours. 🙂

    Like

    • Merry Christmas! As evening comes to Vancouver, I am considering how to keep the memories of this Christmas alive. Perhaps the best way to do so, is to embrace Ebenezer’s vow – “I will honour Christmas in my hearts, and try to keep it all the year.” All the very best to you and your in the New Year! Looking forward to our discussions.

      “Little by little, one travels far” J.R.R. Tolkien

      Like

      • Christmas memories and hopes…

        “Dear me! We Tooks and Brandybucks, we can’t live long on the heights.’
        ‘No,’ said Merry. ‘I can’t. Not yet, at any rate. But at least, Pippin, we can now see them, and honour them. It is best to love first what you are fitted to love, I suppose: you must start somewhere and have some roots

        Like

    • Mein lieber Freund, frohe Weihnachten! Vielen Dank für all die Schönheit und Freude zu bringen, um Ihr meine Welt. Ich freue mich auf jeden Ihrer Beiträge. Viele Umarmungen …

      Like

  2. Which version of the film do you like best? This is my favorite Christmas movie, “scary” as it may be. It’s a very loud a wake-up call. This year, especially, I’ve been wondering how the global-level Scrooges of today spend their holidays. Are they even able to join in any festivities? Is having so much money and control over others worth it?

    I want to wish you and your loved ones a joyous Christmas filled with love and laughter, Rebecca. Thank you for being such a positive presence in the blogging realm.

    Like

    • Another thing that we have in common – it is my favourite Christmas movie too! The version that I find the most poignant and riveting is with Alistair Sim in black and white. But I must confess that this Christmas Eve I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. to watch a Muppet Christmas Carol, with Michael Caine. It is unfortunate that not all heed Jacob Marley’s warning for there are dire consequences to greed and self-interest. I think Benjamin Franklin had the right of it when he wrote, “How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts!”

      I look forward to many discussions and adventures that await us in 2014 – so glad that we are connected. All the very best to your and yours for the holiday season. It is the love of family and friends that keeps joy and hope alive in our hearts.

      Like

    • Thank you for your heartwarming blessing. All the very best of the holiday season be with you and yours – love joy, laughter, hope and faith. We face many challenges in the new year, yet the warmth and kindness of family and friends give us respite and a refreshed spirit. Your visits are always appreciated!

      Like

    • Merry Christmas – all the very best to you and yours during the holiday season.

      Isn’t it interesting that we seem to have difficulty with this simple lesson of kindness, compassion and generosity.

      “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
      ― Dalai Lama XIV

      Like

  3. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
    I am off to search the channels for a Christmas Carol now… it must be playing somewhere right?! Thanks for the inspiration, as always!
    Bigs hugs from all of us at the farm XO

    Like

    • Last night, I watched the Muppet Christmas Carol – here’s a song to cheer us on into a New Year!! Merry Christmas – all the very best to you and yours. Big hugs coming back across the cables to all of you at the farm! 🙂

      Like

  4. Thank you for using this story in today’s post. What profound thoughts are expressed in this classic. I was able to watch it again this year–my tradition. A real treat,.always.

    Like

    • Thank you, Valerie! This past year, I have truly enjoyed and learned from our extraordinary discussions. May we continue together as we take on the adventures and challenges of 2014! I especially enjoyed the Queen’s Christmas message on reflection and meditation. It is a profound reminder that we can seek and achieve balance in a mercurial world.

      Like

    • Oh Cindy! What adventures we have had this year and there is much more to come! Merry Christmas and all the very, very best of the holiday season to you and yours. Blogging 2014 – here we come….

      Like

  5. Clan Mom, Thank you for sharing your wonderful insight. Over the years I have had opportunity after opportunity to watch “A Christmas Carol,” and I will be honest and admit it isn’t my favoriite. But your insight make have an impact the next opportunity I have, and I may get more from it that I have in the past. Thank you, Bill — take care and be safe

    Like

    • Merry Christmas, Bill!!! All the very best to you and yours…

      I can see why it isn’t your favourite. To be honest, I find that it makes me feel uncomfortable. “A Christmas Carol” is not an easy story because it warns of the terrible consequences of greed and materialism. It is a stark message especially at Christmastime, when most of our thoughts are on the warmth of family and friends, the sharing of gifts, and the vision of plentiful food. And yet, there is the possibility of redemption, of seeking a kinder, more generous path. Consider this quote – it sends shivers through me.

      “They are Man’s and they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

      Like

  6. “Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.” Thank you for quoting the words of Marley’s ghost. After dinner this evening my family sang every Christmas carol in the book. But these words from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol touch my heart and make me consider my life more than all the rest.

    Like

    • I get goosebumps every time I read those words. I could hear your voices coming through the cables: Joy to the World, Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Mankind. I am glad that we connected over the past months All the very, very best of the holiday season to you and yours. Rest up for a brand new year of blogging adventures….

      Like

    • And for you too! I so enjoy your blog – the architecture is remarkable!! I have always had a fascination for windows, doors, archways, openings – it signals that there is an adventure if I just step through the threshold. Thank you!!! 🙂

      Like

  7. Oh, ich habe Dir meine Weihnachtsgrüsse und lieben Wünsche an einen falschen Ort gesandt!!! Ich hoffe, Rebecca, dass Du meinen Kommentar gelesen hast.

    Ich wünsche Dir noch geruhsame Festtage und einen guten “Rutsch” ins neue Jahr. Mögen Dich Gesundheit, Lebensfreude und spannende Ereignisse im neuen Jahr begleiten. Ich freue mich, bei Dir wieder lesen zu dürfen. Thank you…
    Ernst

    Like

    • Ich habe erhalten Ihre Weihnachtsbotschaft, mein lieber Freund! Ich freue mich auf unsere weitere Dialog im Jahr 2014! Wir haben viele Abenteuer warten auf uns in das neue Jahr. Ich wünsche der besten des Friedens und der Freude für Sie und Ihre Lieben. Ihre Besuche immer froh, dass mein Tag!

      Like

  8. Merry Christmas and I hope many joys came to Vancouver! Meanwhile, the lessons of the Christmas Carol are based on common characteristics of humanity that are seemingly timeless.

    Like

    • Thank you, Letizia! In Canada we celebrate boxing day (December 26th), which makes it feel like we have a two day Christmas Celebration. I was checking into its origins and came across something that I think you would appreciate!!!
      All the very best of the holiday season to you and yours – looking forward to a New Year! 🙂

      Like

  9. I’ve never herd that comment before and i am a Dickens fan. Better read a little closer. I’ve been writing sporadically, but feel I am back to more regularity. Lots of transition in my life. I wish for you a wonderful holiday season and a fabulous New year to come.

    Like

    • I’m delighted to hear your voice again!!! Thank you for your best wishes – mine are coming back to you across the cables. Looking forward to connecting in the New Year! 🙂

      Like

      • Thank you so much for your blessing! All the very best to you and yours as we enter a new year! Day 10 and the adventures have already started…

        “May hope rise within you.
        May peace wash over you.”
        ― Charlene Costanzo, The Twelve Gifts for Healing

        Like

      • Thank you so much for your heartwarming comments! I was just reading my quote for today, which reminded me why is it so important to connect and share knowledge and experiences.

        “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” Kurt Vonnegut

        Like

  10. I couldn’t find an About page for you so I’m posting this here. I hope it’s OK…

    Greetings friend! I’d like to thank you for commenting, liking or following my blog. As such I want to nominate you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. Please go to this site: http://gardeningingreenwood.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/the-dragons-loyalty-award/ to read the rules and decide if you want to accept it or not. It’s your choice and I hope you will, but it’s up to you. Mostly I want you to know that I appreciate your loyalty to me and my writing. Thank you so much!
    Steve

    Like

    • Hello Steve, I always like to have comments no matter where! By the way, if you take a look at the top of the blog page you will see three links – that is where you will find my “about” and other pages. There is also a search and links to my Facebook and Google+ accounts. I just recently changed my theme to Ryu because of the large fonts!! 🙂

      Thank you for your nomination – so very much appreciated. I am enjoying following your blog for you connect us to nature, to the earth, to the garden which sustains us all. I am looking forward to Blogging 2014 and our ongoing dialogue! 🙂

      Like

      • Hello, I guess I’m just a computer dummy because I did look at your links and couldn’t figure them out. Sorry. But I’m so glad you did get this and will accept the award in whatever way you choose. Your blog is quite fascinating to me and I appreciate your visits to me as well. I”m glad my little garden can be a pleasure for you. 😉
        Happy Holidays and a wonderful 2014!
        Steve

        Like

    • Happy New Year! The Blogging adventures of 2014 are waiting for us – see you in the New Year!

      “New Year’s most glorious light is sweet hope!”
      ― Mehmet Murat ildan

      Like

    • I am so glad that we connected!!! Looking forward to heading into 2014, together!

      “Hope
      Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
      Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
      ― Alfred Tennyson

      Like

    • Thank you so much – and the same to you and yours. 2014 is here!! I’m ready for our blogging adventures!

      “We are the authors of our destinies. No one can see the vision any clearer, believe in and work any harder to make it a reality more than the visionary.” Nike Campbell-Fatoki

      Like

  11. Bonjour Becky! wonderful and interesting post as usually… I always learn something new from you, young lady! 🙂 Mille merci for your constant stop-overs at my crossroads, my very best and friendly hugs… wish u the 3 “b”: bonne année, bonne santé, bonne chance! 🙂 cheers, Mélanie

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! We are at the start of a new year – there are many possibilities waiting for us. May we continue to seek peaceful outcomes in our everyday lives! So glad that we connected! 🙂

      Like

  12. Happy New Year to one of my WP favorites. It’s always a delight to read what you’ve written, and your photos are a feast for the eyes, Rebecca. All the best to you in 2014. Happy New Year!

    Like

    • How wonderful of you to stop by – thank you for your warm wishes. All the very best to you and yours as we begin anew. I thought that you would like this quote.

      “the object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but rather that we should have a new soul.”
      ― G.K. Chesterton

      Like

    • Happy, Happy New Year! I am looking forward to following your blog in the coming year. Many adventures!!!

      “I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.” Herman Melville

      Like

  13. Dear Rebecca,

    oh dear, sorry, I am so late, but nevertheless I like your Christmas-post and it`s great getting some of the Christmas mood back after Christmas. We had a German author Heinrich Böll who wrote a story about people celebrating Christmas every day of the year. Dina, especially our lovely Bookfayries, and me wouldn`t mind clebrating Christmas daily 😉

    When I was a child it was a tradition of my family to watch “A Christmas Carol” in TV. For me Charles Dickens is a great philantropist who took the risk criticising his contemporaries.

    Thank you very, very much to remind me of those sweet Christmas times with my parents.
    I hope you have had a happy Christmas too.

    Here the new year began with this awful helicopter crash in our marshes (we blogged about) but now the quietness takes over again. Dina is sitting at the open fire blogging and I will start our sauna soon.

    All the best to you.
    With a Big Hug
    from
    Klausbernd and Dina, Siri and Selma

    Like

    • When I read about the helicopter crash, the first people I thought about were you and Dina. Your coverage of it on your blog was excellent. Tragic loss of life.

      Watching a Christmas Carol was a tradition at our home too. I very much appreciate your comments re: Charles Dickens. Considering he was forced to work in a factory when his father was sent off to debtors’ prison, I am amazed that he was able transform this difficult experience into a positive force for good. I agree he took great risk in criticizing his contemporaries, yet his popularity allowed him to say exactly what he wanted. He was the voice for the forgotten poor and disadvantaged.

      And so we begin a new year – all the very, very best to the Fabulous Four (love that name). Hugs and more hugs to all…

      Like

  14. P.S.: I am amazed in how many languages you can write. Wow!
    I can very well imagine Dickens as a blogger and I would immediately become a follower of his blog 😉
    Love
    Kb

    Like

    • My dear friend, I have learned to use the Google translator. It has allowed me to read blogs in other languages, which gives me a better insight into the strength of our global diversity. We are living in extraordinary times simply because we are able to communicate. I am trying to cultivate the ability to listen – really listen to understand. I won’t get it perfectly, but then I have something for which to strive.

      “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.” Zeno of Citium, as quoted by Diogenes Laërtius

      Like

Comments are closed.