We all read the book Oliver Twist growing up, it’s a Charles Dickens’ classic. The main highlight of the book was the suffering Oliver had to go through and how a simple request for more transformed his life negatively. Today, it’s a common slang. You hear things like “I want more, just like Oliver!” A popular pop star even sang to it. We have forgotten the other characters and the role they played in making the story an epic one that has gone ahead to sell millions of copies, decade after decade. But one particular character that scared me at first and later intrigued me, is Fagin. For those of us that can still recall, he was the thief that used children to do his dirty work (Dawkins and Charles Bates). At a point, he had the meek and noble Oliver stealing and enforced his policy by bullying Oliver at will.
It’s always amazing when we read a book and try to extract its moral lessons, Fagin helps in every way to shed more light on what I intend to discuss today. It’s so easy to get covetous in the generation that we are in; I remember how I assumed I had the best mobile phone until a better one got out the next month. Satisfaction is almost extinct; the more we get, the more we want. We all have a bit of Oliver in us, the quest for more often stirs us to do better and we all know hard work is the antidote to failure. It gets complicated when our hunger for more can’t be controlled. At that point, the term “Fagin’s curse” pops up. It’s just the usual me trying to use popular characters to pass my message across. In the book, Fagin is portrayed as a very greedy criminal that’s far worse off than Oliver. He never “asked for more”, instead he wanted everything!
So, you are under “Fagin’s curse” when contentment has dissipated from your life, the idea of satisfaction becomes a mundane thought at that point. It could be triggered off by simply blinding your eyes to life’s realities. The concept of “we only reap where we sow” becomes irrelevant. We fail to realize that even Gulliver, so easily seemed tiny in Brobdingnag; the land of the giants! The common saying “life is in phases and men are in sizes” helps as further emphasis on the need for patience. There are very simple ways to know if you are under Fagin’s curse and I am going to highlight a few of them.
ARE YOU SETTING VAIN PREREQUISITES?
It’s very common to hear ladies make remarks like “my boyfriend must have a car” or the gentlemen say “my wife must be a model!” Now all these are prerequisites, but are they worthy enough to be made standards? Isn’t that the kind of statement Fagin would make?
ARE YOU ALREADY ON A WRONG LANE?
Fagin had his cohorts make Oliver climb up a window at night, all because he wanted him to steal stuff! Is that your own story? Are you already making money through the “back-door”? Has greed and impatience led you to becoming a con artist? Can your supposed success story be scribbled down to inspire others? If no, then in my own opinion, that’s so “Fagin like”.
WHO ARE YOUR FRIENDS?
Fagin was surrounded by criminal’s i.e. Bill Sikes, Nancy the prostitute. There was certainly no way he was getting out of crime. Who are the people you call your friends? What are you gaining from the relationship? You must have some friends that never discuss anything meaningful; they give you reasons why you must get involved in one shady deal or the other. Well, it’s only a matter of time before the curse hits on you. A stitch in time saves nine!
Finally, we all know how the story ended. Fagin was tried in court and sentenced to death, Charles dickens was quite descriptive when he elaborated on how pathetic Fagin looked in his cell just few hours before he was hung, he didn’t even want Oliver to say a prayer for him. The bottom line is that he died in the worst way possible. I believe nobody wants to leave this earth that way, this should just serve as a wakeup call to all of us. Have you seen potter mold clay? No matter how ugly the clay looks, he keeps molding because he knows something beautiful will come out of it. Please don’t be a Fagin!
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