G.K. Chesterton is one of the most brilliant and quotable authors. His writings are often hilarious and always profound. If you’re wondering where to start, allow me to recommend his collection of short essays, In Defense of Sanity. Most of the essays are just a few pages in length and are perfect for daily or weekly digestion. They cover a variety of topics such as Chalk, What I Found in My Pocket, Running After One’s Hat, Gargoyles, Cheese, Jan Austen, and a Rotten Apple. He often begins the essay with witty laughter and builds to a theological roar.
Every essay contains multiple quotable quotes, and it is almost impossible for me to choose a favorite. The above quote comes from the essay “On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family,” which is generously underlined in my copy. He follows the above quote with this:
“The thing which keeps life romantic and full of fiery possibilities is the existence of these great plain limitations which force all of us to meet the things we do not like or do not expect… To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance. Of all these great limitations and frameworks which fashion and create the poetry and variety of life, the family is the most definite and important.”
“They say they wish to be as strong as the universe, but they really wish the whole universe as weak as themselves.”