C.S. Lewis on Progress

I’ve been reading C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity over the last little while and am often astounded at the clarity of this man’s thought and language.

E.E. Cummings and C.S. Lewis– both of them are inspiring to me in many ways, despite being such different men.

I’d like to quote a passage from Mere Christianity that is related to the idea of progress. You can take from this passage and my quoting it whatever you wish.

From Chapter 5:

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a 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 over again, the faster I shall get on. There is nothing progressive about being pigheaded and refusing to admit a mistake. And I think that if you look at the present state of the world, it is pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistake. We are on the wrong road. And if that is so, we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on.”

To sum up: When you’re on the wrong road, going further down that road isn’t going to make that road suddenly right.

What are the wrong roads that humanity is on today? What ‘about-turns’ do we need to make to get on the right road? Is getting us on the right road even possible today?

About jaredgarrett

Jared Garrett is the author of Beat, a YA scifi thriller, and its forthcoming sequel, both published by Future House Publishing. A new series, debuting in January 2016 and also published by Future House, kicks off with Lakhoni, a fast-paced rescue adventure in a world reminiscent of Aztec culture, to be released in January 2016. He self-published Beyond the Cabin, a novelization of his childhood in a cult, in December 2014. Both Beat and Beyond the Cabin were Whitney Award nominees, and his story Song of the Wind, received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. In addition to writing, he's spent fifteen years in adult education and is an accomplished public speaker and workshop leader.
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