Troy’s Book Club: “Common Sense 101: Lessons From G.K. Chesterton”

G.K. Chesterton is a writer that has interested me for a long time. I wrote about him at my other blog and if you’d like some biographical info about G.K, check that out. While I’ve known a surface of him, I’ve never read too deeply into his writings to get a real sense of his philosophy and thoughts. That has now changed, and with it, my own impressions of G.K.

“Common Sense 101” is written by Dale Ahlquist, the president of the American Chesterton Society. The book is an overview of many of the common themes in G.K.’s numerous writings. I admit, I had a difficult time reading some of this book. I recognize that G.K. was writing in the early 1900s, and so I expect a certain amount of “dating” to his philosophies, but sometimes, the attitudes of the writer (this was published in 2006) struck me as “dim” in the modern world. While there is still much that I admire about G.K., the enthusiasm is tempered a bit. I suppose it is like most people we admire — get to know them too well, and you might wish you knew them less. In reading this book I saw that I can agree with G.K. on many statements he makes about government and democracy.  His views on family, feminism, and “the homosexual fad” on the other hand…well, that almost caused me to throw the book across the room.

I am going to focus on the things I agree with G.K. on – life is too short to spend much time on disagreements, unless it’s absolutely necessary. (unless noted by “DA” = Mr. Ahlquist, assume the following quotes are from G.K.)

+”I believe that the great source of the hideousness of modern life is the lack of enthusiasm for modern life. If we really loved modern life we should make it beautiful.”

+”What is now needed most is intensive imagination.”

+”…humility is the thing that is forever renewing the earth and the stars.” – DA

+”A man must take what is called a leap in the dark, as he does when he is married or when he dies, or when he is born, or when he does anything else that is important.”

+”…we cannot really be rejuvenated by becoming more and more jaded.”

+”You cannot love a thing without wanting to fight for it.”

– – – – – –

You can find this book at the Milwaukee Public Library or through Boswell Books!

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