Byron's Babbles

Trails Always Offer Choices

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on January 25, 2023

During the 1850’s, which is the setting for Book 4 of Threads West An American Saga: Moccasin Track by Reid Lance Rosenthal, thousands of immigrant Americans traveled westward. These pioneers had a choice of trails, but none was easy. In many cases the trail had begun a world away in another country. When losing one possible trail to an avalanche, Reuben told Johannes, “There may be no choice in trails but trails always offer choices.” After they parted Johannes said to himself, “Trails always offer choices. What did he mean by that?” I am about half way through Book 4 and I believe Rosenthal will probably bring us full circle back to this comment. Taking a stab at it though, I believe it is a metaphor for all the paths/trails taken for all of those whose threads have now connected through the journey west. Reuben and Rebecca who first met on the ship coming to America from two very different countries and backgrounds, are now married and expecting a baby – choices made. Rosenthal told us, “You will recognize the characters who live in these pages. They are the ancestors of your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, and your family. They are you. They are us. This is not only their story. It is our story.” This is so true. While we didn’t have a say in the trails of our ancestors, those trails we were put on now offer us choices. Those choices will in turn affect our ancestors and the course of world history.

Our choices lead to consequences. The choices I witnessed in this novel are mostly made for pragmatic reasons of survival, but sometimes are unmotivated by pragmatism, or cultural acceptability. Sometimes the choices are made for emotional reasons, or strictly for pleasure. But always, the choices have consequences. We also know that the choices of previous generations influence our current decisions. Think about it; stories are told to help us be successful and keep us from making the same mistakes as those who have gone before us. While I get that the book inspiring this post is historical fiction, it is nevertheless historically accurate. I love the title Threads West, because it gives a visual metaphor of how the choice of trails and the choices made while on those trails weave us together.

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