This man is my hero: more from one whom I am incessantly quoting

It seems I’m publishing Wendell Berry stuff on here with every other post these days, but there are good reasons for that, not the least of which being that this man is probably my favorite living writer (and one of my favorites ever) and definitely one of my heroes. So! Here are 2 more things I wanted to share with you from W.B., and they’re not (strictly) poetry this time.

First off, I’m a bit late in sharing a link to these 12 quotes from Wendell Berry that Relevant Magazine shared in honor of the writer’s 80th birthday almost two months ago now. (Small fun fact: I’m kinda tickled that Mr. Berry and I are only one day away from sharing a birthday – mine is August fourth, his is the fifth.) But oh well on belatedness! In this case, the cliche is true – better late than never.

Secondly, I recently watched this TV interview of Wendell Berry on His Hopes for Humanity by Bill Moyers which I found both encouraging and deeply moving. Maybe you will, too! (I watched it in segments of about 10-20 minutes over the period of a few days, so don’t feel like you have to forgo it if you’re interested because you don’t have time today to watch it all at once – I found that breaking it up actually helped me pay better attention and get more out of it, I think.)

Some things that especially stood out to me from this interview were:

  1. Mr. Berry’s response to a question as to the “natural logic of capitalism” – “That you have a right to as much as you want of anything you want, and, by extension, the right to use any means available to get it.”
  2. “I’ve been talking for a long time about leadership from the bottom, and I’m convinced perfectly that it’s happening, and that leadership consists of people who simply see something that needs to be done, and they start doing it.”
  3. (Paraphrasing here) “[We don’t have a right to ask that – if we have time; we have to ask, What is right?, and to go ahead and do that.]”
  4. “To make a living is not to make a killing; it is to have enough.”

 

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