Friday, September 12, 2008

On Our Desire to Live Without Limits

Yesterday in my reading I stumbled across a link to an essay by Wendell Berry. I have to have my thinking cap on when I read anything non-fiction by him. As is usual with Berry, he mentions agriculture in the essay. So I think it belongs here, on a farming blog.

The essay starts out by discussing our oil consumption, but quickly delves into the deeper problem of our desire to live without limits. We want to have what we want, when we want it, in the manner we want it.

And here's a particularly good snippet about blooming where you're planted:

If we always have a theoretically better substitute available from somebody or someplace else, we will never make the most of anything. It is hard to make the most of one life. If we each had two lives, we would not make much of either. Or as one of my best teachers said of people in general: “They’ll never be worth a damn as long as they’ve got two choices.”


  1. Thought provoking post, Lona, and I agree about the thinking cap with Wendall Berry ;) Have you read anything by David Kline? He is an Amish author and also helps put out the "Farming" magazing from Ohio.

  2. Contentment can be such a fleeting thing. I know we have more than enough, but often want different things. I have to remind myself of my blessings in this country of over abundance.

    Thanks for sharing such good advice!

  3. Very thought provoking. I think contentment and resourcefulness are both in short supply these days. From most of us, including myself at times.


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