Inspired by recently reading The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, I’m sharing some related excerpts from one of my favorites, Bill Kauffman.
” [Walt Whitman] understood that any healthy political or social movement has to begin, has to have its heart and soul, at the grass roots. In Kansas, not on K Street.
“And it has to be based in love. Love not of some remote abstraction, some phantasm that exists only on the television screen—Ford Truck commercials and Lee Greenwood songs—but love of near things, things you can really know and experience. The love of a place and its people: their food, their games, their literature, their music, their smiles.
“I am a localist, a regionalist. To me, the glory of America comes not from its weaponry or wars or a mass culture that is equal parts stupidity, vulgarity, and cynical cupidity—one part ‘The View,’ one part Miley Cyrus, and a dollop of Rush Limbaugh—rather, it is in the flowering of our regions, our local cultures. Our vitality is in the little places—city neighborhoods, town squares—the places that mean nothing to those who run this country but that give us our pith, our meaning.” – Bill Kauffman, “Love is the Answer to Empire”
““The Little Way. That is what we seek. That — contrary to the ethic of personal parking spaces, of the dollar-sign god — is the American way. Dorothy Day kept to that little way, and that is why we honor her. She understood that if small is not beautiful, at least it is always human.” – Bill Kauffman, Look Homeward, America!