Monday, February 22, 2010

what I'm reading: Victoria Beckham vs. GK Chesterton

I was paying for petrol when I glanced over at the magazine rack and noticed this quote on the cover of January's Harper's Bazaar:

Victoria's Secret. You have to believe in yourself, because no-one else will.
It seems that Victoria Beckham has discovered the secret to happiness. It's an insight of such originality that Chesterton wrote about it way back in 1908:

Once I remember walking with a prosperous publisher, who ... said of somebody, "That man will get on; he believes in himself." ... I said to him, "Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most in themselves? ... The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums." ...

Then when this kindly world all round the man has been blackened out like a lie; when friends fade into ghosts, and the foundations of the world fail; then when the man, believing in nothing and in no man, is alone in his own nightmare, then the great individualistic motto shall be written over him in avenging irony. The stars will be only dots in the blackness of his own brain; his mother’s face will be only a sketch from his own insane pencil on the walls of his cell. But over his cell shall be written, with dreadful truth, “He believes in himself.” ...

The man who cannot believe his senses [the man who believes only in himself], and the man who cannot believe anything else [the man who believes only in this world]... have both locked themselves up in two boxes, painted inside with the sun and stars; they are both unable to get out, the one into the health and happiness of heaven, the other even into the health and happiness of the earth.
This world isn't about me. It's about God. When I forget that, and become absorbed in myself - when I begin to "believe in myself" - I lose my way. I lose my hold on all that is lovely, and sane, and real. This isn't my story. It's God's story.

I believe in Jesus: not in myself.

Chesterton Orthodoxy 13, 23-24

image is from gaspi your guide at flickr

No comments: