Monday Inspiration

7 Nov

Today my inspiration comes from the great G.K. Chesterton.

“Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be

introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly,

woman is generally shut up in a house with a human

being at the time when he asks all the

questions that there are, and some

that there aren’t. It would be odd

if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist.

Now if anyone says that this duty of

general enlightenment (even when freed

from modern rules and hours, and exercised

more spontaneously by a more protected

person) is in itself too exacting and

oppressive, I can understand the view.

I can only answer that our race has

thought it worth while to cast this

burden on women in order to keep

common-sense in the world.

But when 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 the Cathedral

of Amiens or drudge behind a gun

at Trafalgar. 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.

To be Queen Elizabeth within a

definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors

and holidays; to be Whiteley

within a certain area, providing toys, boots,

sheets cakes, and books, to be

Aristotle within a certain area, teaching

morals, manners, theology, and hygiene;

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 about

the Rule of Three, 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


One Response to “Monday Inspiration”

  1. Toni November 7, 2011 at 9:33 am #


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