In Others’ Words: Progress
“The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth — which means leaving things inside us.” G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936), English writer
I was reminded of it today as my husband measured the pencil marks lining the wall near our kitchen pantry. The oldest mark is dated February 4, 2007. The most recent mark is dated April 15, 2012. Each pencil line charts my youngest daughter’s growth: tall, taller, taller … still growing.
And yes, each mark indicates things left behind. In 2007, CJ was 7 years old. Fourteen inches shorter than she is now. She was in second grade — a little girl, not a pre-teen.
I could choose to lament the little girl lost … or choose to look beyond what that viewpoint obscures, to “the real idea of growth,” as Chesterton says, and think of what those five years have left inside my daughter.
- A faith revealed in a beautiful ability to lead worship
- A sharp wit that often leaves her older siblings speechless
- A desire to be courageous that causes her to push past her fears
- A resiliency wrought through heartache most 11 year olds haven’t had to face
- A way with words that hints at a talent for writing that thrills this writer mama’s heart
In Your Words: Ah, progress. Things lost. Things gained. What has been left inside of you in the past five years?