“I Wear the Chain I Forged in Life…Of My Own Free Will I Wore It.”

“You are fettered,” said Scrooge, trembling. “Tell me why?”

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “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

Habits are a chain we forge in life–a chain that can pull us down, or lift us up.

A nice marriage of the theme of habits and the holidays! I’m impressed I pulled that off.

  • Gillian

    A nice marriage, indeed. Well done! What a great quote in both content and language! You’ve used many excellent quotations to illustrate this concept but for some reason this one really hits home with me. It so precisely illustrates cause and effect. Thank you. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and your family.

    • gretchenrubin

      Thank you! and to you too…

  • Jenya

    What a powerful quote. That line meant nothing to me as a child, but as an adult, it cuts deep!

  • Penelope Schmitt

    It is a MUST for me at the Christmas season to read a Christmas Carol through at least once. It is one of the world’s most perfect stories. I have much of it almost by heart. Phrases like ‘a bad lobster in a dark cellar’ and [or bad weather] ‘they often came down handsomely, Scrooge never did’ come to me like breathing. ‘Better no eye at all than an evil eye, dark master!’

    Just today I was contemplating my ‘chain’ and how it would be made of sewing machines, fabric, bales of batting and strung up bundles of quilting magazines. But not so bad after all, as I received a Christmas card today from someone who received a quilt sent cast out on the waters last year for Christmas. I am so overjoyed to know that the receiver is still living to enjoy her quilt.

    You have provoked me to think that this will be the night of all nights to watch the very best Christmas Carol ever, performed by Alistair Sim in 1951. God bless us, every one.

  • Holly

    Well Done!…Though, for a Christmas Classic, I have to admit preferring the transformation in It’s a Wonderful Life to A Christmas Carol!

    Thanks for all the inspiration and thought provoking writing Gretchen!

  • Cindy Weber Schachner

    Wow, I’m impressed too– beautifully done. 🙂

  • Thanks Gretchen for this reminder. I will keep it to remind myself that I must forever rid myself of the chains of regrets, guilt, fear, and all the other chains I wrap myself in from day to day. Thanks again.

  • Agata Hydrysiewicz

    Really wise quote. Very Christmas-like ^^ tresurazwierzat.com.pl

  • Miracles For Her

    Great reminder that we need to be aware of our habits and make sure they’re healthy. http://www.miraclesforher.com/free-ebook/ Traits of Women Who Achieve Their Personal Development Goals