Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things is hosting a great link-up discussing quotes and thoughts from G.K. Chesterton. Reading more Chesteron is one of my goals that I've never actualized, so this link-up is the perfect opportunity. I'm always looking for new fodder for my blog and reading and writing more about Chesterston seems like a great way to do so.
Today's quote is one of his more common ones, and one I've actually quoted before.
Chesterton wrote this in his book, What's Wrong with the World, which was published in 1910.
If you read this link, you will see that Chesteron was mainly referring to hobbies and the rearing of the children. Not that the rearing of children should be done "badly" but that it should be done by amateurs, that is by unpaid people who do it out of love (ie. parents).
We live in a world where more and more things are being left to specialists. Everyone is expected to be very good at one thing (their career) and leave everything else to the experts. We hire teachers to teach and bakers to decorate cakes and house cleaners to clean and photographers to take pictures and farmers to grow food and factories to process it. There is no such thing as the "jack of all trades". The art of "knowing how to do stuff" is lost. People think that they shouldn't sew, or bake or build something if they can't do it perfectly.
But there is value is doing something yourself...even if it's done badly. I am terrible at sewing and at cake decorating (see above picture) and explaining fractions and teaching reading. Yet, I still do all those things (okay, so I rarely sew) because they are all things worth doing and I don't think they are necessarily things better done by professionals. I'm sure that cake up there would have been an actual train cake instead of a train wreck of a cake had a professional decorated it...but even in it's amateurish state it still tasted great and the birthday boy loved it.
We live in a Pinterest world....where we are led to believe that real moms throw perfectly decorated birthday parties with perfectly themed refreshments and party favors and crafts and activities and everything fits a perfect theme. The centerpiece looks like a kitten and there is a perfectly adorable kitten cake and there are kitten crafts and kitten party favors and the napkins are folded like a kitten and by the end of the party, everyone is all kittened out. You know what....kids have just as much fun at birthday parties with a homemade cake decorated with sprinkles, a bowl of chips, a bunch of juice boxes and a big yard to run around in.
How many people don't throw parties or invite friends over because they are afraid they can't do it perfectly, because their house is too small or their furniture doesn't match or they think they can't cook. But, you know what, I'm sure a lot of people would rather share a bad meal with friends than dine alone. I'm sure a lot of kids would be thrilled to attend a party, even if it's not Pinterest perfect.
Things like being hospitable and raising kids and cooking dinner and making cakes are all things that have value...and they are all worth doing, even if at times, we have to do them badly. So this year, I'm going to make more of an effort to do those things that are worth doing (like inviting friends over and throwing parties and baking cakes) even if I have to do it badly.
And, since it's Sunday, I'll show you another thing worth doing badly. Dressing up for Mass.
Here's what I wore today. It's probably not the best outfit and it's far from perfect, but here it is.
Tank: given to me
Skirt: given to me