Race, Politics and 7 Ways That Charles Dickens Was Both A Writer and A Prophet!

Yes! I admit. I do love to write. For me it’s one of life’s simple pleasures to sit back and observe things and then to use words to write something about what I’ve observed. Kinda like what I’m doing right now.And by the way. I do thank you for reading it.

Right along with me loving to write. I also love to read. As a matter of fact. It would probably be accurate to say that I read more than I write. And lately I’ve been doing a whole lot of reading. Not so much the reading of hardback, paperback and virtual books. Although at this very moment I have a stack of unfinished books on the table in one of my cozy reading spaces in our home. I also have a few partially read books on my beloved Kindle.

It is precisely because of this, that I have vowed not to purchase any more new books until I finish the ones that I’ve already accumulated. And yes. I honestly admit that for me this presents a bit of a challenge. Particularly since my curiosity and love of learning makes it very easy for me to become interested in a new book on a whim. However, so far I am holding steady and haven’t paid for any new books in a while. Note,the operative word is “paid” but I digress.

Anyway, so if I am not reading any new books (i.e. hardback ,paperback or virtual) then exactly from what other types of books am I doing all this reading you may be wondering? And the answer is; I’ve been doing a lot reading from the human book variety type. In other words, I’ve been reading a lot of pages spoken directly from the mouths of other human beings.

Yes. People are living books. All of us. Everyone of our lives tells a story. And although in the multitude of our created “isms” and “phobias”,some tend to believe that some stories are either more or less valued than others. The truth of the matter is. That when it comes to the living books (i.e. people). Every story has equal value and is significant in one way or another regardless of reader opinion. Bottom line is. All of our stories matter.

Recently (i.e. this morning actually) as I was reflecting on the content of so many of the human book stories I’ve been reading lately. The words from the classical historical novel “Tale of Two Cities” written by Charles Dickens floated to the surface of my mind seemingly out nowhere. I mean I know I have probably had to read the book somewhere in my past academic “required reading” educational experience. However, at this time I have no recollection of such an experience. I imagine that I like many students both past and present probably blocked having read this book completely out of my mind right after successfully passing the test.

Nevertheless,from somewhere in the computer of my brain the very familiar words from this classic novel surfaced. The words I’m referring to (quoted at the beginning of this post) are from the very first chapter of the book written by Mr. Dickens over more than a century ago. The words were used to describe a period of time long ago in a place far away from America (ok not that far, London, Paris). The words when written had absolutely nothing directly to do with America. But everything to do with the years leading up to the French Revolution. Hmm…mental note…revolution.

One only needs to read and listen to the content of the words being shared from the mouths of millions who make up the massive human book library in America right now to understand why I refer to Dickens as both writer and prophet. It doesn’t take much to realize that the words he wrote back then eerily describe the current state of our divided union. Yes, we are the United States of America. But within our United States, we are a very divided people.

So why exactly do I say that Charles Dickens was both a writer and a prophet? As a writer, Mr. Dickens penned those words to help us as readers get a good glimpse of the condition in regards to the dichotomy in the lives of the people in London during the years leading up to the French Revolution. As a prophet,those very same words that were used to describe the people in London, could easily be used to describe our current American dilemma.

As I stated earlier. We are the United States of America. But we also are a very divided people. And the unfortunate truth is that we cannot deny that the words of Dickens ring true in describing the dichotomous posture between Americans these days in regards to both racial issues and politics.Meaning that:

  1. For some it is the best of times. For others it is the worst.
  2. For some it is the age of wisdom. For others the age of foolishness.
  3. For some it is the epoch of belief. For others the epoch of incredulity.
  4. For some it is a season of light. For others a season of darkness.
  5. For some it is a season of hope. For others a winter of despair.
  6. For some it feels as if they have everything before them. For others it feels as if they have nothing.
  7. For some it feels like we have knocked on heaven’s’ door. For others it feels like the experience of hell on earth.

We are currently living in a state that seems to be fueled more by our differences than those things we have in common. Our solutions of course can only be found somewhere in the middle ground. Whether or not we will make the decisions and choices that lead us back to the middle ground is still up for grabs.And considering this there are a few questions that we may need to answer for ourselves such as:

  1. Will it take another revolution in order for us to unite in spite of our differences?
  2. Has such a revolution actually already begun?(There are some that say it has.)
  3. Where do we go from here and where are we headed?
  4. What human book stories will we leave for the next generation to read (and possible re-write)?

As the eternal optimist that I am I choose to remain hopeful about America’s future. Even so, I am not naive to the fact that as Martin Luther King Jr. once said “…we have some difficult days ahead.” What say ye?

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