Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When going back is the quickest way on...

This bit of Lewis reminds me of G. K. Chesterton's bit on the Imbecile Habit.

We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken the wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. We have all seen this when doing arithmetic. When I have started a sum the wrong way, the sooner I admit this and go back and start again, the faster I shall get on. There is nothing progressive about being pig headed and refusing to admit a mistake. ... Going back is the quickest way on.

- C. S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity"

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