Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Love This Quote

I saw this quote from G.K. Chesterton on the Girltalk blog today. They've had lots of good stuff lately.

"[Woman is surrounded] with very young children, who require to be taught not so much anything as everything. 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...."

"[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."


Anonymous said...

It seems as though our society only values work if it brings a person a)more power, b)more status, c) more money/stuff. A woman can learn whether she is at home or in the workplace! I have also been thinking about how men, too, are expected to gain the above 3 items, or they are not really considered to be performing well in the workplace. I think it is wrong that if a man wants to continue to do the same job excellently, that is looked down on. Everyone is expected to want more/do more, as if that is the ultimate in fulfillment. It certainly does not lend itself to well-rounded, spritually-minded people! If someone wants to climb the ladder at work, and is cut out to do so, great! However, not everyone likes to manage people, and not everyone is good at it. I will get off my soapbox now. That was a good quote, and very timely, as truth always is!

cristina said...

How true! Today something on the news triggered a thought among those lines...
I am so grateful that I have the possibility to "drudge" at home because it offers me the privilege to be with my children and enjoy telling them about the universe. :)

Anonymous said...

Our thinking has been turned inside out for the most part and because of that there is great loss for moms, dads and most of all, our precious children.
How well this truth is stated here.

Candice said...

That's an interesting thought, Dana. I haven't thought about pressure men might feel to have to climb that 'ladder' and that they might be made to feel weird if they are content providing for their families and 'working to live' vs. 'living to work.'