Disappearing World

The rural roots of  personal identity and community have been cut off.

Our heritage is disappearing. A way of life and livelihood is disappearing. Knowledge of skills is disappearing. Self reliance is disappearing. Family farms are disappearing. People live huddled in crowded cities. They have have lost their connection to the land, and our heritage is disappearing.

013Heritage is not only physical property, monuments and objects, it can also mean the culture, a characteristic or a tradition handed down from one’s ancestors or the past.

026Heritage is much more than preserving, excavating, displaying, or restoring a collection of old things.

022Heritage is the full range of our inherited traditions, monuments, objects, and culture.

A way of life and livelihood is disappearing. Heritage songs and stories carry information and ideas about life and living and shared customs. The traditions and memories passed on from parents to children about rural life is ending with this generation. Modern urban dwellers have no reference to farming, raising livestock or living close to nature so the language, songs, dress, customs and values of agricultural communities is fading.

014Self reliance is disappearing. The memories of living close to the land and the ideas on how to do things are forgotten by modern society. The songs, recipes, language, dances, and many other elements of who we are and how we identify ourselves is changing. We are no longer connected with the soil and and our personal identity and communities  have lost  their rural roots.

016Knowledge of skills is disappearing. What can we, or should we, forget?

015Heirloom fruits and vegetables are disappearing. Heritage operates at the local level in community. Regional foods and crafts that once were identified with a particular area  have no standing in the global market. Diversity has been replaced with a monoculture controlled by corporate interests.

023Family farms are disappearing. The loss is both tangible and intangible. 

Heritage is an essential part of the present we live in and of the future we will build. Preservation of important  historical buildings and archaeological sites should be the subject of active public discussion. Protecting local resources can be an element of urban and regional planning and has the potential for local economic development.

The invisible or intangible practices of  heritage, such as language, culture, popular song, literature or dress, are important in helping us to understand who we are. Contemporary activities and behaviors today will determine personal and community identity in the future. Individuals, groups and communities should be aware of what importance heritage plays in public life. Heritage is a contemporary activity with far-reaching effects. What heritage do we leave our heirs?

Think about where your stuff comes from the next time you head off to the local mega store or the GMO supermarket. Shop local, buy local.

Happy Trails, Dohn



About earthstonestation

promoting environmental education, protecting all species and preserving the wild places with art, music and storytelling.
This entry was posted in farms, local economy, Nature and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Disappearing World

  1. McEff says:

    Hi Dohn. Very thoughtful post. These things are disappearing and it’s reassuring to know that people do care – and care enough to write about them. All too often we see the past swept away before our eyes or mothballed in a themepark that purports to recreate times gone by. This is our true heritage – whether we’re American, European, Asian or African – because it’s where we come from and how we made ourselves into what we are now.
    All the best, Alen

  2. pendantry says:

    I agree with your other commenters that this is a wonderful post.

    My one suggestion for improvement would be to consider changing the title:
    “Disappearing America”
    should be
    “Disappearing World”

  3. Yes, we can only live in the idealistic of future living for so long, before we must return to earth and back to the basics of living.
    This is a great post. Someone should interview the older folks, before they pass on. Gather that amazing wisdom and put it all into a book, or series of books, or eBooks.

  4. Hey Dohn –
    Your words resonate, especially to someone who was raised in the New York Metropolitan Jungle and never felt quite at home till he (and we both know that’s “I”) found his way to a canyon 8.000 feet up in the Rockies.
    And the pictures, as also the words, get me to thinking…
    “they sure as shit don’t build them like that any more.”
    There’s something about barn wood that ages so elegantly and gracefully.
    Societies and cultures… not so much.

  5. Pit says:

    Great post, Dohn. I agree. To my mind, a person without knowledge of their heritage is without roots, without foundations. And another thought: doesn’t heritage and having roots also give us direction for the future?

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