A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)


"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Words are sometimes more important than deeds."

In many ethical societies and ethical discussions which I have attended it was asserted, or rather assumed, that deeds were important and words were not. I even remember some modern moralists' pressing upon me a book called "Creed and Deed," in which I believe the importance of the latter was contrasted with the unimportance of the former. The same view prevails very largely about all collections of words in comparison with action. I pass over the not uninteresting preliminary fact that words are deeds. The case is much stronger than that. People talk as if reasons and explanations were not important; as a matter of fact they are the only thing that is important. From a man's deeds you can only discover what he does; you must listen to his words to discover what he means. When he acts you will only learn what he has succeeded in doing. But when he speaks you will have learnt what he was trying to do. If I have to make a selection between Creed and Deed (I should prefer them both) I should certainly select Creed.

...What impresses us is not a man's actions, but his avowed reasons for his actions. Words are sometimes more important than deeds. If a man in a crowd says to us, with polite expression, "Let me pass," we do not mind his passing. If he says, "Let me pass, because I am a fine handsome fellow of manifest high breeding, while you are clearly from your appearance a somewhat distasteful cad," then the practical action, which was in the first case harmless, becomes in the second case insupportable. The first request is one to be granted at the first flash; the second is one to be resisted to the last drop of the blood. Yet in both cases the ultimate external action is the same.

-February 2, 1907, Illustrated London News

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