An Honest Day's Work for an Honest Day's Pay

The New York Times today published a great article by Mark Bittman about his recent visit with Wendell Berry titled 'Finding Patience in an Era of Emergency'. Wendell Berry is one of the truly great men of our time and a mudite hero. Naturally then, he's been nearly totally ignored by the larger culture, especially corporate media. Wendall Berry personifies leadership from the bottom. He is the author of more than forty books of essays, poetry and novels. He has worked a farm in Henry County, Kentucky since 1965.

Bittman's article led me to the one of the greatest pieces i've read, perhaps ever. It's a transcript of the 2012 Jefferson Lecture titled 'It All Turns On Affection' delivered two days ago by Wendell Berry at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts In Washington D.C. Please read it, it's very moving, very powerful and shows why many, including myself, call Berry the prophetic American voice of our day.

Berry walks the talk. He has practiced and preached the virtue of  jobs based on hard work, on an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. Having worked hard all my life i understand the value of sweat, the feeling of accomplishment earned by hard work, the feeling of pride in the product created by one's own hard work, and how much better the beer tastes after having earned it.

Berry understands well that inappropriate technology has displaced the honest work that once made Americans [and Canadians] truly wealthy and has wrong-headedly attempted to replace that weal of the many with riches for the few. Wendell Berry understands how capitalism is squandering the earth's natural bounty and poisoning it's inhabitants all in a short-sighted, short-term quest. Berry knows that one day this too shall pass.

“Because a thing is going strong now, it need not go strong for ever. This craze for motion has only set in during the last hundred years. It may be followed by a civilization that won’t be a movement, because it will rest upon the earth." - E. M. Forster