Fidelity to place needn’t (and shouldn’t) result in stuckness, a condemnation of ever moving at all. But we must beware falling into that second trap: rejecting roots altogether.
What would be helpful is a book that acknowledge both sets of trends and moves beyond name-calling to begin the hard work of engaging in the tensions and trade-offs between them. Beneficial too would be a clear-eyed encounter with the fact that measures of human happiness and fulfillment have not skyrocketed along with our greater health and wealth. People need more than just more stuff.
As President John Thrasher alienates Florida State University from segments of the broader Tallahassee, Florida community, a lesson from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, is worth considering.
For readers in North America, familiar as most of us are with the history our own agrarian tradition as well as our own “seismic shift in agriculture” from the work of Berry, there emerges much from the work of Hawking as well as Bell of which we should be reminded.
If a human timescale—privileging our experience and our hopes—is insufficient to understand the forest, then maybe we will be provoked to reconsider both the human and forestal timescale.