Recently I had the opportunity to review the book, The Chains of Marley, by local Charlotte author Charles Cabler. Mr. Cabler takes us down a path of showing us the importance of contributing to the welfare of mankind, using Jacob Marley, the ghost who visits Ebenezer Scrooge in the Charles Dickens novella, A Christmas Carol, as an example. Mr. Cabler wants to show us it is not all about ME ME ME, sometimes, you have to help your fellow citizens, in order to have a fulfilled life. Jacob Marley, the business partner of Ebenezer Scrooge spent his whole life hoarding what he was earning. Treating his family, friends (if he had any) and employees with no compassion, respect or kindness. After he dies, he visits Ebenezer Scrooge…and you know the rest, Scrooge ends up seeing how life could have and would have been and could be…All because he changes the way he treats people.
The Chains of Marley is an excellent book for anyone to read. I think it would be especially helpful for those going through any sort of “tough” spot in their life. Life has not been fun or easy for me in the last few years. I have struggled so much with the loss of my Mom, the grief of myself and family members, the loss of my day job, and then the loss of Maggie. However, through it all, I have tried really hard to be nice. I try to help people all the time, because I KNOW it makes me feel better. But sometimes, you hit a point where you look to the sky and go, “Really God? I try so hard to be such a good person…I do not understand why all of this is happening to me…I can’t be nice any more…I give up.” And that happened to me…I felt like I could no longer be nice.
One way to fulfill God’s expectation of good stewardship is to contribute to the welfare of mankind using the gifts and talents God has given. In addition to providing an abundant life, God also gives each person the option of choice. A person can choose to be benevolent or oblivious to the needs of others. The choice is his or hers, along with the consequence of that choice. Being benevolent is a humanitarian responsibility for all people, whether or not they are a Christian. This book compares the individual benevolence obligation to Jacob Marley, the fictional character in Charles Dickens novella, A Christmas Carol. Jacob Marley’s life, attitudes, characteristics, decisions, influences, and final destiny are discussed with the anticipation that, if people look closely, they may see a little of themselves reflected in this story.
“What I like about this book, among other things, is how universal its concept is. How could the concept [of benevolence] be so widely held, yet so widely ignored? We all benefit from the very thing we so secretly want to avoid. This book confronts each of us in the area of that secret and gives us the freedom to do what we already know we should.”
-Brian Boyles, Senior Pastor of Northside Baptist Church, Charlotte, North Carolina
I would highly recommend this book. It is really easy to read and might even make you think about how you live your life every day..How you could help your fellow man. I actually suggested both my kids read it.