Where Do We Begin?

18 11 2008

This week’s Question of the Week is Where Do We Begin?

Tony Woodliff at World Magazine recently wrote about “rediscovering his inner farmer“:

Maybe it’s just insecurity stemming from the current economic meltdown, or perhaps a latent agrarianism, but I find myself looking at our land and wondering how we might pull food from it. I never learned much about farming, I don’t know the first thing about hunting, and I’m a pretty poor fisherman. I think I’d like to get better at all of them. I suppose there are many reasons: doing my part to squeeze oil out of the food chain, drawing close to creation, improving our diets, doing good work with my sons, acquiring and passing along what one day may once again become survival skills. I’m haunted as well by something Berry wrote in one of his Home Economics essays, that you are free to the extent that you can provide for yourself. If you have to hand over money to people to do even the most basic things for you, then you are ultimately dependent.

So this winter I’ll be talking to local farmers and reading some gardening books and possibly learning how to use a bow. It promises to be a glorious disaster, and I’ll be lucky to emerge next fall with all my fingers and toes intact. But I’m increasingly convinced that it’s just as important to teach my sons these things as to teach them how to read well, how to use logic, how to see the world. I suppose in that I’m just rediscovering what our forbears knew, that a life of work in creation should not be separated from a life of the mind.

Perhaps you have someone like Tony in your church or community, who is beginning to sense the reality of the vulnerable position that the modern specialized man is in. And for every person like Tony, there’s probably a dozen people that are completely oblivious to the danger ahead.

There seem to be a lot of contradictory ideas being held. Corporately, we generally admit dire economic times overall, but we continue to presume that we’ll continue to not only remain employed but that our pay will increase as it always has. We talk about the “housing” debacle, but the majority of us still think that the value of our own home has stayed the same or increased. It is known as “risky behavior”. We Christians find it easy to condemn sexual promiscuity but exhibit the same tendencies when it comes to our finances, racking up debt and doubling down in tough times.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m wagging a finger, because I’m just as guilty as anyone else. And rather than point out examples of ways we’re failing, I’m hoping to find ways to help.

So with all that as a prelude: Where Do We Begin?

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One response

20 11 2008
Dr. Paleo Ph.D.

You might be interested in my latest blog post….

Spencer

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