Humane localism

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I respect the modest vision of “humane localism” cast by [Mark] Mitchell. “In short,” he writes, “humane localism is rooted in respect, not in homogeneity; in love of one’s place, not hatred of other places; and in the realization that human flourishing is best realized in the company of friends and neighbors sharing a common place in the world.”

So how do you share that place? No one life-change can guarantee it, because sin follows us wherever we move. But you can make some simple adjustments. Move into a house with a front porch. Resist the urge to retreat in front of the tv. Invite your neighbors to dinner. Volunteer in your church and another organization dedicated to civic well-being. Limit your commute time. Avoid activities that require you to shuttle your kids across the city each day. Settle somewhere people have known you across various stages of life, maybe even somewhere they knew your parents or grandparents. Make regular errands where you see familiar faces. Seek unpaid adult involvement—whether family or friends—in your children’s lives. Weigh the economic advantages of taking a new job against the human cost of upheaval to your church, school, and family life. Stay put if at all possible. And if God calls you to go, make a home of this new place by following this same time-tested wisdom wherever you can.

This lifestyle probably won’t make you famous, but it just might make people want to attend your funeral.

Collin Hansen, Why Place Matters