My “Writer’s Almanac” email today, noted Charles Dickens published his first part of the serialized A Tale of Two Cities on this date in 1859 in Dickens’ weekly journal, All the Year Round.
The article detailed the history of the journal’s publication, added some interesting information and ended with the first paragraph of that novel, one i believe to be, an incredible work:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way …”
i have used this quote several times but confess i stole it from Dave Carey. Dave, a rather incredible person himself, used the quote in the leadership seminar he and i facilitated together in 1985 when he was discussing our choices on how to view our world and our situation.
i would bet money…no, i need to ask Dave if that was behind the title of his inspirational book, The Ways We Choose: Lessons For LIfe From a POW’s Experience.
Then, i considered this is a perfect quote for what we are experiencing with this pandemic (Have you ever thought “pandemic” could mean a bad skillet? No? Just wondering).
It certainly is the worst of what many, if not most of us have experienced. It could also be a time for restructuring our personal goals, behaviors, and attitudes about what really is important in our lives.
Best of times. Worst of times. 1859. 2020. And all points in between, behind, or beyond.
Our choice. It’s what we make of it.
And that is one thing that will never change.
Thanks, Charles and Dave.