People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.— Wendell Berry
The most thrilling Wendell Berry quotes that will add value to your life
We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. 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 learn what is good for it.
The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.
We don't have a right to ask whether we're going to succeed or not.
The only question we have a right to ask is what's the right thing to do? What does this earth require of us if we want to continue to live on it?
Whether we or our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.
It may be that when we no longer know.
.. which way to go we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.
Sit and be still until in the time of no rain you hear beneath the dry wind's commotion in the trees the sound of flowing water among the rocks, a stream unheard before, and you are where breathing is prayer.
Outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders;
we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary, but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread.
Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.
We need better government, no doubt about it.
But we also need better minds, better friendships, better marriages, better communities.
Unexpected wonders happen, not on schedule, or when you expect or want them to happen, but if you keep hanging around, they do happen.
Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.
And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.
Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.
Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.
I am speaking of the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage, not because he is duty-bound, but because he loves the world and loves his children...
Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand;
it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.
There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.
Our destruction of nature is not just bad stewardship, or stupid economics, or a betrayal of family responsibility; it is the most horrid blasphemy. It is flinging God's gifts into His face, as if they were of no worth beyond that assigned to them by our destruction of them.
We need to confront honestly the issue of scale.
.. You may need a large corporation to run an airline or to manufacture cars, but you don't need a large corporation to raise a chicken or a hog. You don't need a large corporation to process local food or local timber and market it locally.
I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods.
To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
If a healthy soil is full of death, it is also full of life: worms, fungi, microorganisms of all kinds ... Given only the health of the soil, nothing that dies is dead for very long.
The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth.
This alignment destroys the commonwealth - that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community - and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.
True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One's inner voices become audible... In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives.
The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass.
The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all.
It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.
We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?
Don't own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.
When despair for the world grows in me.
.. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable to feed me.
If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.
The earth is what we all have in common.
We can make ourselves whole only by accepting our partiality, by living within our limits, by being humans not by trying to be gods.
There is much good work to be done by every one of us and we must begin to do it.
As I understand it, I am being paid only for my work in arranging the words;
my property is that arrangement. The thoughts in this book, on the contrary, are not mine. They came freely to me, and I give them freely away. I have no "intellectual property," and I think that all claimants to such property are theives.
Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.
The past is our definition. We may strive with good reason to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it. But we will escape it only by adding something better to it.
It is only by understanding the cultural complexity and largeness of the concept of agriculture that we can see the threatening diminishments implied by the term 'agribusiness.'
The world is not given by our fathers but borrowed from our children.
If you don't know where you are, you don't know who you are.
Under the pavement the dirt is dreaming of grass.
One of the most important resources that a garden makes available for use, is the gardener's own body. A garden gives the body the dignity of working in its own support. It is a way of rejoining the human race.
I have always loved a window, especially an open one.
Our Children no longer learn how to read the great book of Nature from their own direct experience, or how to interact creatively with the seasonal transformations of the planet. They seldom learn where their water come from or where it goes. We no longer coordinate our human celebration with the great liturgy of the heavens.
I believe that the community - in the fullest sense: a place and all its creatures - is the smallest unit of health and that to speak of the health of an isolated individual is a contradiction in terms. (pg. 146, Health is Membership)
I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love.
Urban conservationists may feel entitled to be unconcerned about food production because they are not farmers. But they can't be let off so easily, for they are all farming by proxy.
You mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else. What you must do is this: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks.” I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.
We don't know how to use energy or what to use it for.
And we cannot restrain ourselves. Our time is characterized as much by the abuse and waste of human energy as it is by the abuse and waste of fossil fuel energy.
I dream of a quiet man / who explains nothing and defends nothing, but only knows / where the rarest wildflowers / are blooming, and who goes, / and finds that he is smiling / not by his own will.