I’m a huge fan of children’s and young-adult literature. I’m in three book groups where we discuss children’s and YA literature. I read those books all the time — and I also re-read my favorites, over and over.
One of my very favorite scenes in children’s literature — and maybe all literature — is in C. S. Lewis’s masterpiece, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
It’s an enormously satisfying scene, and it’s also a very good reminder: If all else fails, we can try minding our own business.
Here’s the conversation, if you want to read it:
The Professor says, “There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn’t tell lies and it is obvious that she is not mad. For the moment then and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth.”
The children continue to explain why they don’t accept Lucy’s story.
“But there was no time,” said Susan. “Lucy had no time to have gone anywhere, even if there was such a place. She came running after us the very moment we were out of the room. It was less than minute, and she pretended to have been away for hours.”
“That is the very thing that makes her story so likely to be true,” said the Professor. “If there really is a door in this house that leads to some other world (and I should warn you that this is a very strange house, and even I know very little about it) – if, I say, she had got into another world, I should not be at all surprised to find that the other world had a separate time of its own; so that however long you stayed there it would never take up any of our time. On the other hand, I don’t think many girls of her age would invent that idea for themselves. If she had been pretending, she would have hidden for a reasonable time before coming out and telling her story.”
“But do you really mean, sir,” said Peter, “that there could be other worlds — all over the place, just round the corner — like that?”
“Nothing is more probable,” said the Professor, taking off his spectacles and beginning to polish them, while he muttered to himself, “I wonder what they do teach them at these schools.”
“But what are we to do?” said Susan. She felt that the conversation was beginning to get off the point.
“My dear young lady,” said the Professor, suddenly looking up with a very sharp expression at both of them, “there is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which is well worth trying.”
“What’s that?” said Susan.
“We might all try minding our own business,” said he. And that was the end of that conversation.
After this things were a good deal better for Lucy.
Whenever I’m not sure how to address a tricky situation involving other people, I always remind myself, “I might try minding my own business.” It surprises me how often that advice works.
Do you love the Narnia books as much as I do?
If you’re a fan of children’s/YA literature, you can check out my list of my 81 favorite books here. So many wonderful books.
Listen to this mini-podcast episode by clicking PLAY below.
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