An Adventure Wrongly Considered

photo courtesy of NPR

“Most of the inconveniences that make men swear or women cry are really sentimental or imaginative inconveniences—things altogether of the mind. For instance, we often hear grown-up people complaining of having to hang around a railway station and wait for a train. Did you ever hear a small boy complain of having to hang around a railway station and wait for a train? No; for to him to be inside a railway station is to be inside a cavern of wonder and a palace of poetical pleasures. Because to him the red light and the green light on the signal are like a new sun and a new moon. Because to him when the wooden arm of the signal falls down suddenly, it is as if a great king had thrown down his staff as a signal and started a shrieking tournament of trains. I myself am of little boys’ habit in this matter. They also serve who only stand and wait for the two fifteen. Their meditations may be full of rich and fruitful things. . . .

“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”

—G. K. Chesterton, “On Running After One’s Hat” (1908)

HT: WSJ

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