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Wendell Berry Quotes
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Wendell Berry Quote: “The rule, acknowledged or not, seems to be that if we have great power we must use it. We would use a steam shovel to pick up a dime. We have experts who can prove there is no other way to do it.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I began to know my story then. Like everybody’s, it was going to be the story of living in the absence of the dead.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Explanation changes whatever is explained into something explainable.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “However, if we conceive of a culture as one body, which it is, we see that all of its disciplines are everybody’s business, and that the proper university product is therefore not the whittled-down, isolated mentality of expertise, but a mind competent in all its concerns.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We are living even now among punishments and ruins.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “People who own the world outright for profit will have to be stopped by influence, by power, by us.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “He was a humorous, good-natured man, maybe because he hoped for little and expected less and took his satisfactions where he found them.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Our most serious problem, perhaps, is that we have become a nation of fantasists. We believe, apparently, in the infinite availability of finite resources.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The discussion about food doesn’t make any sense without discussion at the same time of land, land use, land policy, fertility maintenance, and farm infrastructure maintenance.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The fertility cycle is a cycle entirely of living creatures passing again and again through birth, growth, maturity, death, and decay.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Our human and earthly limits, properly understood, are not confinements but rather inducements to formal elaboration and elegance, to fullness of relationship and meaning.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The chance you had is the life you’ve got. You can make complaints about what people, including you, make of their lives after they have got them, and about what people make of other people’s lives, even about your children being gone, but 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 every thing give thanks.” I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “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.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Let us have the candor to acknowledge that what we call “the economy” or “the free market” is less and less distinguishable from warfare.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The form of a poem is invisible. A poem is not an “object.” This is hard to accept in a mechanical age.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “For want of a Pilate of their own, some Christians would accept a Constantine or whomever might be the current incarnation of Caesar.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Perhaps all the good that ever has come here has come because people prayed it into the world.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “For agrarians, the correct response is to stand confidently on our fundamental premise, which is both democratic and ecological: the land is a gift of immeasurable value. If it is a gift, then it is a gift to all the living in all time. To withhold it from some is finally to destroy it for all. For a few powerful people to own or control it all, or decide its fate, is wrong.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “She was a pretty girl, and I was moved by her prettiness. Her hair was brown at the verge of red, and curly. Her face was still a little freckled. But it was her eyes that most impressed me. They were nearly black and had a liquid luster. The brief, laughing look that she had given me made me feel extraordinarily seen, as if after that I might be visible in the dark.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “So it is that the life force may take possession of a man – so that in the end he may be possessed by something greater, no longer at all belonging to himself.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “When there are enough people on the land to use it but not enough to husband it, then the wildness of the soil that we call fertility begins to diminish, and the soil itself begins to flee from us in water and wind.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “He imagines a necessary joy in things that must fly to eat.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It is well established among us that you may hold up your head in polite society with a public lie in your mouth or other people’s money in your pocket or innocent blood on your hands, but not with dishwater on your hands or mud on your shoes.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “For any sin, we all suffer. That is why our suffering is endless.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “A man ought to study the wilderness of a place before applying to it the ways he learned in another place.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Grandmam came back from that distance in time that separates grandmothers from their grandchildren and made herself a mother to me.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “He stands under them, looks up, sees, knows, and knows that he does not know.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “But in its de facto alliance with Caesar, Christianity connives directly in the murder of Creation. For in these days, Caesar is no longer a mere destroyer of armies, cities, and nations. He is a contradicter of the fundamental miracle of life.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “There should be no relenting in our efforts to influence politics and politicians. But in the name of honesty and sanity we must recognize the limits of politics.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Tell you,” he said, “there ain’t a way in this world to know what a human creature is going to do next.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “One of the strongest of contemporary conventions is that of comparing to Thoreau every writer who has been as far out of the house as the mailbox.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “One of the best things you can do in this world is take a nap in the woods.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “When the possessions and households of citizens are no longer honored by the acts, as well as the principles, of their government, then the concentration camp ceases to be one of the possibilities of human nature and becomes one of its likelihoods.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “That one is sometimes able, among the disturbances of the present world, to wander into some good and beautiful whereabouts of the woods, grow quiet, and come to rest is a gift, a wonder, and a kind of grace.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Living without expectations is hard but, when you can do it, good. Living without hope is harder, and that is bad. You have got to have hope, and you must’nt shirk it. Love, after all, hopeth all things. But maybe you must learn, and it is hard learning, not to hope out loud, especially for other people. You must not let your hope turn into expectation.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Commercial conquest is far more thorough and final than military defeat.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “There is change by necessity or adaptation, and there is contrived change or novelty.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “What would be the point of being personally whole in a dismembered society, or personally healthy in a land scalped, eroded and poisoned, or personally free in a world entirely controlled by the government or enlightened by television?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Good farmers, who take seriously their duties as stewards of Creation and of their land’s inheritors, contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows. These farmers produce valuable goods, of course; but they also conserve soil, they conserve water, they conserve wildlife, they conserve open space, they conserve scenery.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We don’t need much imagination to imagine that to be free of hatred, of enmity, of the endless and hopeless effort to oppose violence with violence, would be to have life more abundantly. To be free of indifference would be to have life more abundantly. To be free of the insane rationalizations for our desire to kill one another-that surely would be to have life more abundantly.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The world, which God looked at and found entirely good, we find none too good to pollute entirely and destroy piecemeal.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The modern mind longs for the future as the medieval mind longed for Heaven. The great aim of modern life has been to improve the future – or even just to reach the future, assuming that the future will inevitably be “better.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The strangest of all the doctrines of the cult of competition, in which admittedly there must be losers as well as winners, is that the result of competition is inevitably good for everybody, that altruistic ends may be met by a system without altruistic motives or altruistic means.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Happiness had a way of coming to you and making you sad. You would think, ‘There seems to have been a time when I deserved such a happiness and needed it, like a day’s pay, and now I have no use for it at all.’ How can you be happy, how can you live, when all the things that make you happy grieve you nearly to death?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “For what seemed a long time Mat knelt there with his father’s dead wrist in his hand, while his mind arrived and arrived and yet arrived at that place and time and that body lying still on the soiled and bloodied stones.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Unless you absolutely have got to do it, don’t buy anything new.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The shoddy work of despair, the pointless work of pride, equally betray Creation. They are wastes of life.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The corporate approach to agriculture or manufacturing or medicine or war increasingly undertakes to help at the risk of harm, sometimes of great harm. And once the risk of harm is appraised as “acceptable,” the result often is absurdity: We destroy a village in order to save it; we destroy freedom in order to save it; we destroy the world in order to live in it.”
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