Do we treat the created order as if it belongs to God or exclusively to ourselves? Is dominion the same as domination? Is stewardship the same as subjugation? Such notions need to be worked through. Such notions have a profound impact on how we see and treat the world around us. And the people around us.
Why is it that we can all say that this building works, that this room is just right, that this town is good and pleasing? Why is it that we can all imagine some beautiful and perfect home, complete with all its habits and accouterments, but we can’t say exactly what it is about that home that is so perfect without describing the whole thing?
As Americans, we must remember that place matters, and our founding principles are best understood when we look at how they were made real in the city of brotherly love.
The promise and peril of current forms of localism, with Trevor Latimer.
Yet our little sister does not play the victim. She presses on, a sufferer who labors as best she can while shadows and thorns press in against her. And she prays to God like the woman persistent in her case when contending with an unjust judge; and since God is just, since He is the Good and Righteous Judge of All the Earth, our little sister’s hope remains “deeper still.”
Might our local faith communities support such cultivation of virtue, while also restoring what might again be a hub of parish social life?
We live in fractured days, lacking in harmony, civility, and comity. “Comity,” an old word for courtesy and kindness, is related etymologically to the Sanskrit word for “smile.” As it often does, etymology here beautifully illuminates a reality, in this case about both kindness and smiling: they unceasingly bring warmth, joy, and a smile to both giver and receiver.
Before we totally condemn the Athenians as selfish, entertainment-addicted bad citizens—which, to be fair, they sometimes (or often?) were, just like us—it is worth considering what such shared democratic spaces of entertainment facilitated. And a related question to consider: What might we, as a democracy, gain if we had something similar?
Maybe we can just call it something else, like, “Living with family and friends in a neighborhood designed to encourage the building of social capital, relying on them in real and tangible ways (rather than just manufacturing reasons to occasionally interact with them), and overcoming the isolating dynamics of modern life.”
Daytripper reminds people that you don’t have to go far to see something new. Even small towns have a special local food or watering hole. Every place has history. And it’s fun to swim in a new lake. It’s good to kayak a new river or hike a new hill. Wherever you are, your own state has plenty to see.