Whenever I get the chance, I tell people the most important book they can read (aside from the Bible) is Wendell Berry’s Another Turn of the Crank. And in Berry’s book the most important essay is “The Conservation of Nature and the Preservation of Humanity.” The amount of wisdom in this short essay simply astonishes. I never reread it without gaining more wisdom. It always is more prophetic than the last time I’ve read it.
Such was the case today, nearly a month to the day after the evil Sandy Hook school shootings. These are Wendell Berry’s words, first published in 1995, regarding our culture’s care of children:
Whatever the reason, it is a fact that we are now conducting a sort of general warfare against children, who are being aborted or abandoned, abused, drugged, bombed, neglected, poorly raised, poorly fed, poorly taught, and poorly disciplined. Many of them will not only find no worthy work but no work of any kind. All of them will inherit a diminished, diseased, and poisoned world. We will visit upon them not only our sins but also our debts. We have set before them thousands of examples––governmental, industrial, and recreational––suggesting that the violent way is the best way. And then we have the hypocrisy to be surprised and troubled when they carry guns and use them.
Berry is quick to acknowledge there are many loving parents who do a good job caring for children. Please find this book and read the entire essay.