Climbing the Ladder

Julia Powers, MDiv, MSW

In some recent posts, both This Is Not a Travel Blog and Roots and Shoots, I’ve mentioned Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s book The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture. Truly, it’s one of the most necessary, even prophetic books I’ve come acrossprophetic because stability is not something twenty-first century Westerners practice and necessary because stability is something twenty-first century Westerners need.

In a section on “the ladder we climb,” Wilson-Hartgrove summarizes a situation so eerily relatable to my own experience that I’m posting the paragraph here in whole:

“Practicing stability has meant unlearning the habits of a culture that tells us the answer to our problems is always somewhere else. For most young people in the West, ‘good education’ leads to a migratory existence. Conventional wisdom among the middle class says, ‘Go away from home for a good four-year degree. Go somewhere else for a master’s. Travel around and see the world a little. Then maybe think…

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