33 Most Famous Wendell Berry Quotes

33 Most Famous Wendell Berry Quotes

by / Comments Off / 278 View / Jan 7, 2015

Wendell Berry is a writer, farmer, and environmental activist from Harris County, Kentucky. He has received many awards for his work including The National Humanities Medal. His writings focus mainly on rural life and agriculture communities. He still currently lives and works his farm in Kentucky.

“A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance. ”

“A person who undertakes to grow a garden at home, by practices that will preserve rather than exploit the economy of the soil, has his mind precisely against what is wrong with us… What I
am saying is that if we apply our minds directly and competently to the needs of the earth, then we will have begun to make fundamental and necessary changes in our minds.”

“Ask the questions that have no answers.”

“Eating is an agricultural act.”

“Far from making peace, wars invariably serve as classrooms and laboratories where men and techniques and states of mind are prepared for the next war.”

“I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees. ”

“I am speaking of the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage, not because he
is duty-bound, but because he loves the world and loves his children.”

“If you don’t know where you’re from, you’ll have a hard time saying where you’re going.”

“Individualism is going around these days in uniform, handing out the party line on individualism.”

“Invest in the millenium.”

“It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.”

“Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful”

“Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are
wealthier than the rest of us.”

“Never forget: We are alive within mysteries.”

“Our model citizen is a sophisticate who before puberty understands how to produce a baby, but who at the age of thirty will not know how to produce a potato.”

“Professional standards, the standards of ambition and selfishness, are always sliding downward toward expense, ostentation, and mediocrity. They tend always to narrow the ground of

“The ability to speak exactly is intimately related to the ability to know exactly.”

“The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility. ”

“The issue here really is not whether international trade shall be free but whether or not it makes any sense for a country — or, for that matter, a region — to destroy its own capacity to
produce its own food.”

“The most insistent and formidable concern of agriculture, wherever it is taken seriously, is the distinct individuality of every farm, every field on every farm, every farm family, and
every creature on every farm.”

“The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.”

“The teachers are everywhere. What is wanted is a learner.”

“To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”

“To defend what we love we need a particularizing language, for we love what we particularly know.”

“Violence breeds violence. Acts of violence committed in “justice” or in affirmation of “rights” or in defense of “peace” do not end violence. They prepare and justify its continuation.”

“We are living even now among punishments and ruins.”

“We have become blind to the alternatives to violence.”

“We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: how much is enough?”

“We need better government, no doubt about it. But we also need better minds, better friendships, better marriages, better communities.”

“What I stand for is what I stand on. ”

“When the possessions and households of citizens are no longer honored by the acts, as well as the principles, of their government, then the concentration camp ceases to be one of the
possibilities of human nature and becomes one of its likelihoods.”

“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”