Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Greatness of My Task

I read this elsewhere today and thought it was wonderful. I really need to read more Chesterton!

"[W]hen people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean. When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery, all the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge [at his work]. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean…. I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children [arithmetic], and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness."
G.K. Chesterton

9 comments:

  1. This quote has encouraged me many times over the last two years:) I needed the reminder this cold and slow weekday!

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  2. How well put. Thanks for sharing this, Marianne.

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  3. Chesterton stole my heart here today.

    Kudos, dude. You understand.

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  4. He does have a way with words. I love this quote, thanks.

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  5. yep. curious what you think of Orthodoxy. I need to re read it.
    <3

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  6. Happy so many others enjoyed this as well! And happy to be attempting the task along with you all.

    Summer - I haven't read Orthodoxy, I'll have to put it on the list (I think "What's Wrong With The World" will be next - that's the origin of this quote, in an essay about feminism)

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  7. Beautiful. I've never read this before. Thank you for sharing it.

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