Thursday, July 3, 2014

Living Your Values

"To make public protests against an evil, and yet live
dependent on and in support of a way of life that is 
the source of evil, is an obvious contradiction
and a dangerous one.  If one disagrees with the
nomadism and violence of our society, then one is 
under an obligation to take up some permanent
dwelling place and cultivate the possibility of peace
and harmlessness in it.  If one deplores the destructiveness
and wastefulness of the economy, then one
is under an obligation to live as far out on the 
margin of the economy as one is able: to be as
economically independent of exploitative industries,
to learn to need less, to waste less, to make things
last, to give up meaningless luxuries, to understand
and resist the language of salesmen and public
relations experts, to see through attractive packages,
to refuse to purchase fashion or glamour or prestige.
If one feels endangered by meaningless, then one
is under an obligation to refuse meaningless pleasures
and to resist meaningless work, and to give up 
the moral comfort and the excuses of the mentality
of specialization."
- Wendell Berry

I think that much of my frustrations of the past year have been the result of not living in align  with my core values.  To keep them fresh in mind, and to live consciously each moment - choosing to make 
even the smallest of decisions reflect what is important in my life and in the life of my family - letting my life speak for itself.

What do you think of the quote?


  1. It's a great quote and really chimes with a few things I have read it felt today. We need to live out our example and be good stewards xx

  2. Tonya - your post strikes me in two ways: one, I was just realizing over the past couple days that one of the reasons I've been feeling so scattered and pulled here and there lately is that I have not been living/planning out my days in a way that is in line with what my priorities really are (or what I want them to be) right now. And two, the other thing I have been thinking about is figuring out just what it looks like to live out my core values in a broader sense, and feeling torn between how I would like to live them out, and the realities of circumstances and obstacles.

    I love Wendell Berry's quote - I think it has so much plain and simple truth in it. But I struggle with it, too - it is challenging - in an important way, but also in a way that can seem all or nothing (if you see the good you should do and don't do it, you fall short). Maybe the important thing is the intention with which you live your life, and the consciousness of your choices, more so than a score of results, if that makes sense? Thanks for sharing it!

    1. Yes, I think that is so similar to being a Christian. I fall short everyday, but continually strive to follow Jesus.

  3. Love it! :) Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great quote, in my opinion. I am always questioning whether or not I live out my beliefs, and sometimes that just makes me feel awfully tired. It seems to me that the world we live in is very complex. Two examples from my life are: Which is better, fair trade bananas sprayed with pesticides, or organic bananas that aren't fair trade? In the past I've chosen 100% wool carpets in order to be as natural as possible, and suffered terrible moth infestations despite my best efforts. Trying to make the right choices can be baffling sometimes. I think what Annie says about intention is very true. And what you say about having an ideal to strive for is also very true, and very helpful.

  5. I love Wendel Barry and I love this quote. These things have been on my mind lately, and I'm glad to see I'm not alone!

  6. what does he mean by nomadism? i feel a pull to travel, but i feel it is because i do not like where i live much. i was born here (texas) and live here bc of family so i do not want to leave permanently. but i am very attracted by cooler climates, mountains, clear streams, etc. i struggle with this in particular.

    1. Megan - I just wanted to say, I relate to this, too: I feel pulled away to other places and really struggle to fully commit to this place where we are (my husband wants to plant an orchard, I balk at the thought of it and the symbolism of it). I want to be really _in_ a place, but the place I want that to be is not here. But like you, we are here because of family, mainly, and I really struggle with that. I think we have grown up in a time when it is the norm to just up and move - I know when I was growing up in the small town where we lived, it was seen as a failure of sorts, to not have aspirations that took you away from there... And I don't know that it is entirely good or entirely bad. I think I lean toward the bad, and how it means we've lost so much of a sense of place. But of course it's not that simple. Especially when I feel the pull to elsewhere!