Wednesday, December 4, 2019

"We Have Lived by the Assumption"

Maybe I'm a Wendell Berry Fangirl.

Or maybe the world is just becoming increasingly stuck in a moment that needs what Wendell Berry has to offer.

Or maybe it's just because a former student wrote me this past week to say he'd been reading through a collection of Wendell Berry essays, and he wanted to thank me for connecting him with the man. 

Whatever the case, here's another bit of Wendell Berry:

"We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us. We have fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward the world - to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error has become clear. It is not only our own creativity - our own capacity for life - that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled. 
We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits. But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it." 

From his essay, A Native Hill

Support my writing habit: click below to...

SOME POSTS THAT'VE BEEN POPULAR, RECENTLY...

CHECK OUT MY FIRST BOOK ON GOODREADS...