Quote of the Week

December 22, 2005

I ran across this quote in the comments of a post by Dr. Helen:

"The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. He knows much more of the fierce varieties and uncompromising divergences of men. The reason is obvious. In a large community we can choose our companions. In a small community our companions are chosen for us. Thus in all extensive and highly civilized societies groups come into existence founded upon what is called sympathy, and shut out the real world more sharply than the gates of a monastery. There is nothing really narrow about the clan; the thing that is really narrow is the clique."

                                                                            – G. K. Chesterton

The post was a discussion on families and holidays, hence the relevance of the "small fixed communities" that Chesterton discusses so well.  I will be keeping this in mind as I come into contact with various rather strident relatives…  🙂

I also thought about this in terms of globalization.  While it is often said that globalization allows us to come into contact with more diverse viewpoints, we also lose the necessity to expose ourselves to those viewpoints since there are so many more people who already agree with us.  There’s a lot to be said on the consequences of cutting oneself off from competing opinions, and I hope I’ll have a chance to say it – but some other time.  (Sorry! Work is busy, continues to be busy, and internet access has been spotty over the last couple of weeks.  Joyful.) 

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