I am afraid that some amount of doubt may have crept into this project since my last post on Wendell Berry and his definition of community. My argument in that post was simple: it would be good if professionals, and those who train them, might spend at least a few moments thinking through the implications of Berry’s ideal community along with his critique on modernity — both are described in his 1969 essay, “The loss of the future.”
The doubt crept in after I took my own advice and re-read Berry’s 2014 essay, “Our deserted country,” which can be found in the 2015 collection entitled Our Only World.
The essay contains the following definition of vocation:
The idea of vocation attaches to work a cluster of other ideas, including devotion, skill, pride, pleasure, the good stewardship of means and materials. Here we have returned to intangibles of economic value. When they are subtracted, what remains is “a job,” always implying that work is something good only to escape: “Thank God it’s Friday.”