YOUR STREET OF DIVINE DESTINY
By Dr. Yomi Garnett
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
Every season requires its own stories. In this season, the global economy is in the alarming flux of a recession, with individuals, families and nations witnessing a downturn in their fortunes.
I relate this poignant story to show that, sometimes, it’s in the depths of despair that great resourcefulness is born. Indeed, our current adversity can be the propelling motivation for the brilliant flash of inspiration that will turn our life around.
It had been an exceptionally humid day in London, but this somewhat oppressive weather soon gave way to a cool breeze as dusk settled over the city. It was the evening of the fifth day of October, 1843, and a young man stepped out of his house and into a serene neighborhood street near Regent’s Park. He tousled his brown hair with his right hand, and making a brave attempt at cheerfulness, he waved his left hand in a perfunctory greeting to a couple of elegant ladies in an equally elegant horse-drawn carriage. Charles Dickens, arguably England’s most eminent author, was on his routine evening walk. He looked profoundly distressed as his accustomed walk took him farther and farther away from the stylishly graceful ladies and fine gentlemen of his affluent neighborhood and into what the novelist himself called the black streets of London. By the time he got to the Thames River, the gas lamps that lit his way through the better neighborhoods had given way to dull light coming from the windows of tenement blocks to cast an equally dull glow on litter-strewn streets bordered by open sewers. The human traffic had also changed to the dregs of the city: street urchins, pickpockets and beggars.
Dickens’s gloom deepened as this change in human tone evoked traumatic memories of himself as a twelve- year old impoverished boy subjected to the grueling task of attaching labels to an endless stream of pots of black boot paste, for twelve hours a day, for six days in the week, to earn the six shillings that would sustain him. Meanwhile, his father languished in debtor’s jail and poor Dickens was receiving only an hour of school lessons during his lunch break. For the boy, life seemed quite bleak and hopeless, until, by an unexpected twist of fate, the elder Dickens, almost unbelievably, came into an inheritance. He paid his debts and was released (continue reading…)