As you’ll see GK Chesterton both quoted and explained elsewhere on this site, here are some favorite quotations that help explain why this man was not only one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, he has great value for helping to create real progress in the 21st.

1. There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner.

2. The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.

3. The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.

4. Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.

5. In the end it will not matter to us whether we fought with flails or reeds. It will matter to us greatly on what side we fought.

6. The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside of us.

7. It is of the new things that men tire … of fashions and proposals and improvements and change. It is the old things that startle and intoxicate. It is the old things that are young.

8. A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.

9. The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.

10. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.

11. Humility was largely meant as a restraint upon the arrogance and infinity of the appetite of man.

12. Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.

13. The test of all happiness is gratitude. We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.

14. Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.

15. Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.

16. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.

17. Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery, you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic.

18. Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.

19. Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.

20. Contemporary society has become dry, not for lack of wonders but for lack of wonder.

21. No man who worships education has got the best out of education … Without a gentle contempt for education no man’s education is complete.

22. People are inundated, blinded, deafened, and mentally paralyzed by a flood of vulgar and tasteless externals, leaving them no time for leisure, thought, or creation from within themselves.

23. Fable is more historical than fact, because fact tells us about one man and fable tells us about a million men.

24. Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

25. We grow conservative as we grow old it is true. But we do not grow conservative because we find so many new things spurious. We grow conservative because we find so many old things genuine.

26. Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back.

27. We are learning to do a great many clever things … The next great task will be to learn not to do them.

28. Chaos is dull.