Stanford professor finds hope in the face of consumerism in the hidden Kingscote Garden

And writes a book, Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition.

"We live in a kind of frenzy of consumerism which forgets that the true source of human happiness is not in the consuming but in the cultivation, in seeing something grow, or caring for something that is not yourself. And I don't know how much we teach the young this ethic of caring for something that is not yourself. Or even caring for things such as an object or a plant. Consumption and cultivation are at war with each other."



Unknown said...

I see where he's going with "consumption and cultivation are at war with each other," given the whole premise of the book and linked article... but I don't know that I agree with that as a blanket statement. Plenty of people these days are cultivating with an eye toward consumption, if the amount of veggies, herbs and other edibles we've sold at the garden center are any indication.

chuck b. said...

The only reason to cultivate anything is to later consume it somehow. Consumption without cultivation leads to unhappiness. Cultivation without consumption is unattainably angelic.

When the two are separated, they war. When they are joined, there can be happiness.

It would be interesting to hear more about cultivation's arsenal in the war against consumption. Cultivation seems hopelessly outgunned, does it not?

I think cultivation must endure. It's part of our better nature, and we can't evade nature.

Brent said...

Wow! Great quote. I need to read that book.

Anonymous said...

Nice quote. Gets to a point I've heard before that consumerism is not passive. We think of us consuming. But consumerism acts on us, too. It can consume us. It is a battle.

Gardener of La Mancha said...

I'd never paired/separated consumerism and cultivation before. Interesting.