“Those who love certain animals selfishly, pampering them, as so many mothers do their children with worse results, that they may be loved of them in return, betray them to their enemies. They are not lovers of animals, but only of favourites, and do their part to make the rest of the world dislike animals. Theirs are the dogs that inhospitably growl and bark and snap, moving the indifferent to dislike, and confirming the unfriendly in their antagonism. Any dog-parliament, met in the interests of their kind, would condemn such dogs to be discreetly bitten, and their mistresses to be avoided.
And certainly, if animals are intended to live and grow, she is the enemy of any individual animal, who stunts his moral and intellectual development by unwise indulgence.
Of whatever nature be the heaven of the animals, that animal is not in the fair way to enter it. The education of the lower lies at the door of the higher, and in true education is truest kindness.”
– George MacDonald, Hope of the Gospel
“It has decided, rightly or wrongly, that this specialism and this universalism shall be divided between the sexes. Cleverness shall be left for men and wisdom for women. For cleverness kills wisdom; that is one of the few sad and certain things.”
GK Chesterton, What’s Wrong With the World
Curiouser and curiouser… Why does Chesterton make me feel like Alice?
“In thinking lovingly about others, we think healthily about ourselves.”
– from Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood by George MacDonald
Yes- having to focus on the good of and for other people can take away some of the insanity that blinds us regarding our own situation. But if we are biased and really intent on gaining some good or ground for a personal cause, that can blind us to the good we ought to grant and teach to others. Take slavery for example.
I was just re- listening to this bit from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:
“Do you think I wouldn’t obey my own rules?” (CS Lewis, Aslan speaking.)
And it struck me again – this time in the light of Lewis’s The Abolition of Man (or should I say “the dark shadow?”), that good people – princes and subjects alike, all subject themselves to the laws of what is good. For somehow they understand that goodness is the very fiber of which reality is made. Unlike other “princes” who make their thrones on high towers, and pass down rules for those who serve under them, but they don’t have to abide by them personally, Christ, True Christianity and the good God we serve all stand in the light of goodness, virtue and truth. And he who would be the greatest, must be the first to be servant of all. This to me is the spirit of Christ, and in the vein of GK Chesterton, the “atmosphere” of truth, virtue and Goodness. By this we know if we are its disciples: if as we set out, we understand that we set out firstly to follow goodness, truth and virtue, and secondly to serve others, obeying the laws of life. If we set out with a desire to discover our own selves or “greatness,” and have a desire to be served by others, then we are in that moment, children of another mother, and not children of the true spirit of God.
~ Watergirl 🌸