Crafting Gentleness

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hyde Park from the air

Just to continue that thought below ...

I was watching the news last night and they were showing the major shifts in the ecological landscape of London, which could only really be seen from the air: Hyde Park is now pretty much a desert; the canals are choked with duckweed (eutrophication); the reservoirs are drying up. Okay, so there's the distant view, providing us with a descriptive engagement with change. Now, if we were to try to understand how that situation happens to be the way it is and not some other way, then the distant view doesn't help much any more. Neither does it help for working out what attitude or approach we might adopt in trying to come to a more helpful engagement with the situation. But as a descriptive starting point a view from afar can be helpful, so long as we don't stop there but keep going towards an ecological engagement with relationship generally and especially an engagement with ourselves particularly, ethically, and politically.

It's like my take on anthropology - I don't find out about other people's lives to just find out how they live and satisfy my curiosity. I find out how other people make sense of their lives so that I can more helpfully make sense of my own, and more helpfully make sense of the possibilities of my own negotiations of relationships.


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