December 23, 2010

A Matter of Scale

The Tricycle Book Club is discussing Lin Jensen's Deep Down Things: The Earth in Celebration and Dismay! Look for daily excerpts from the book on the Tricycle Blog to inspire the conversation, which is happening here.

From Deep Down Things:

"The proper scale for human endeavor is that of the household. It’s within the intimacy of a household that we first learn to interact with other people and it’s in our own backyard that we learn to interact with the earth. We move from the center outward, comprehending the large in terms of our knowledge of the small. If we evolve at all from members of a single household to members of a global household, we do so by preserving the qualities of the smaller context within the larger. Our capacity to accept and include others depends on this vital connection.

We humans lose our way when we disregard the small and think and act on a scale so large and comprehensive as to distance our thoughts and actions from the smaller details of which the larger scale is comprised. This matter of scale applies not only to social interaction but to our interaction with the earth as well. A household scale of exchange is the proper currency of small farm economies. A family farmer can walk the smaller acreage of his farm and so comes to know each acre in its particularity. Just as he responds to the varying needs of family and friends, so too does he respond to varying needs of each acre on his farm."

Have something to say? Visit the Tricycle Community Book Club to discuss Deep Down Things!


Image: From the Flickr photostream of minniemouseaunt.

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