Wendell Berry #4

As a homebody and a man uninterested in media, Berry has kept away from television and the like, but when seeing it as an opportunity to spread the word about his views, he agreed to meet Bill Moyers for an interview.  His passion for protecting the environment is clear in the interview, and it is more personal and meaningful to me than any of his essays I have read so far, leading me to believe that he effectively conveyed his message and accomplished his purpose.

The first thing I noticed was that Berry spoke of his faith.  I had known that he was a religious man, but I had not realized that his care for the earth was so largely influenced by his Christian beliefs.  He spoke of the earth like destroying it was sinful.  His audience during the interview was composed of all ages, ethnicities, and religions, people from all over who had come to hear him speak.  Everyone there wanted to hear him, no matter their beliefs.

As often is the theme in his essays, Berry speaks of our duty to the earth to protect and preserve it.  He says that we live on this earth under the understood condition that we will take care of it, and to do so, “We have to know it, and we have to know how to take care of it.  And to know it and to be willing to take care of it, we have to love it.”  He encourages people to remember this, that to live here, we must treat the earth with as much care as it treats us.

Perhaps most importantly, Berry makes us question how to fix the things he warns us about.  However, as we ask for a solution, he tells us to slow down.  While I read his essays and admire his ideas, I wonder how we can bring about change and positively affect the world around us, but I have learned from Wendell Berry that there is not always a simple fix.  There will not always be an immediate solution, no matter how hard we may try to find one.  This is a time when we must wait patiently and take in everything we can about our world.

“The important thing to do is to learn all you can about where you are… Resign in yourself, becoming patient enough to work with it over a long time, and then what you do is increase the possibility that you will make a good example.  And what we’re looking for in this is good examples.”


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