As I’ve been reading through Wendell Berry’s The Art of Commonplace, a lot of good stuff has been thrown at me. But perhaps one thing that stood out the most so far was his essay on ‘thinking small’. As he sets up his points he writes the following passage:
A man who is trying to live as a neighbor to his neighbors will have a lively and practical understanding of the work of peace and brotherhood, and let there be no mistake about it -he is doing that work. A couple who make a good marriage, and raise healthy, morally competent children, are serving the world’s future more directly and surely than any political leader, though they never utter a public word. A good farmer who is dealing with the problem of soil erosion on an acre of ground has a sounder grasp of that problem and cares more about it and is probably doing more to solve it than any bureaucrat who is talking about it in general. A man who is willing to undertake the discipline and the difficulty of mending his own ways is worth more to the conservation movement than a hundred who are insisting merely that the government and the industries mend their ways.
What do you think about this?
What thoughts instantly flood your mind, if any?
What thoughts come to mind after you think about it for a while?
Have you ever thought something similar to this?
Is this way of thinking representative of our culture?
… or is it counter-culture?
Is this way of thinking representative of the church?
… or is it the complete opposite?
Where is ‘thinking big’ appropriate?
Where is ‘thinking small’ inappropriate?
Who should ‘think big’ and who should ‘think small’?
… who decides that?
I ask these questions out of an actual interest of what you think. These are just some I’ve thought of over the past couple weeks while chewing on this. If you have more questions (probably better ones) please share!
I’ll only post my own thoughts about all this stuff if others comment and share theirs… Let’s make it a conversation. So leave a comment and pass this on to a friend who would enjoy discussing this!