How many of us have bought into the philosophy that the one with the most toys wins? Our entire society operates on the principle that our lives would be so much better, and that we as individuals would be more complete, if we could just get the next best thing.
We have been brainwashed into believing that we must buy more to live. We live to buy rather than buying to live. The issue I have with this lifestyle is that it isn’t Christian, and in a world of poverty and hunger, it is actually immoral.
If our spirituality actually informs our lifestyle we should be striving to live more simply. That’s what Chesterton is saying. Desiring less is the best way to have enough. By living more simply we make it possible for others to simply live.
Our world was created perfectly. There is enough resources to meet our needs, but there will never be enough to meet our greed.
An enormous amount of modern ingenuity is expended on finding defenses for the indefensible conduct of the powerful. — G. K. Chesterton
Chesterton was a brilliant English journalist, essayist novelist and poet. He died in June of 1936. He was a man of enormous wit, great size and even greater faith. It was also famously observed that he was, at heart, a jester and it was in this role that Chesterton was able to have the most impact. He was able to be funny because he was serious. And he was able to use jokes, paradoxes and his often rhetorical switchbacks because of his confidence in his truth.
The quote above is a good example of Chesterton’s style. When reading him I find myself continuously nodding in agreement and reaching for my highlighter. It’s a shame he isn’t read more widely.
Chesterton is absolutely spot on in the above quote. Who would dare deny it? I am especially drawn to that last word. We all know who the powerful are, or we assume we do. But, what if we put Chesterton’s quote in a larger context? What if we look at it from a slightly different perspective?
Who are the powerful in a world where hunger stalks the majority of our human family? Who are the powerful that always have more than enough food when most know only lack and hunger? Who are the powerful that have the resources to share but refuse? Who are the powerful that have the freedom to speak out for justice on behalf of the hungry yet keep silent?
Chesterton is right. An enormous amount of modern ingenuity is expended on finding defense for our indefensible conduct.