Monday, October 26, 2009

A Thought for the Day: Fences

"Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up."
G. K. Chesterton, The Quotations Page

This idea came up in the dialog of "A Man for All Seasons" (1966), a fictionalized account of St. Thomas More's life - and how he handled being caught between the King's will and God's. Not the most tranquil spot to inhabit.

As I recall, a eager young man had expressed a desire to chase down the devil, no matter how many laws he had to break in the process. Sir Thomas More commended the young man on his zeal to pursue evil, but pointed out that laws were like fences. They work in both directions.

Then Thomas said something like this: 'So you knock down the last fence between you and the devil, and he turns on you: what then?'

I played with the idea of fences and why they're there a few years ago. Don't worry, the story isn't 'religious.'

"The Village, the Fence and the Sign"
Brian H. Gill (1996)
Sir Thomas More was beheaded by King Henry VII of England's government in 1535, recognized as a saint in 1935, and recently declared the patron saint of politicians and statesmen.

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