Monday, November 3, 2008

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Chesterton?

Not since last week, eh? Well, let me remedy that oversight. I’m reading his What’s Wrong with the World? and came across this gem, appropriately enough, just a couple days before we went off of Daylight Saving Time:

If I am to discuss what is wrong, one of the first things that are wrong is this: the deep and silent modern assumption that past things have become impossible. There is one metaphor of which the moderns are very fond; they are always saying, “You can’t put back the clock.” The simple and obvious answer is, “You can.” A clock, being a piece of human construction, can be restored by the human finger to any figure or hour. In the same way society, being a piece of human construction, can be reconstructed upon any plan that has ever existed.

There is another proverb, “As you have made your bed, so you must lie on it”; which again is simply a lie. If I have made my bed uncomfortable, please God I will make it again. We could restore the Heptarchy or the stage coaches if we chose. It might take some time to do, and it might be very inadvisable to do it; but certainly it is not impossible as bringing back last Friday is impossible. This is, as I say, the first freedom that I claim: the freedom to restore.

The freedom to restore. Love it.

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