Thursday, May 24, 2007
I spend most of my time on the mountain, and when I leave the mountain to work, run errands, visit family or friends, I always head north, first through miles of orchards and then into rural suburbia, followed by city suburbia. I rarely head southwest, as I usually have no reason to do so. It is a measure of how infrequently I head in that direction that when I did so recently and found miles of family farms, the view seemed almost exotic to me.
Forest to orchards to suburbia pretty much sums up the human habitats of my life. These habitats are my "normal," and my world view is nurtured and formed by the habitats I know best. Other people will have their own normal habitats that help to structure their own world views. My normal habitats are certainly not unique, but I’m starting to appreciate that because they are not the most common ones my take on life is different and changed by those environments in which I spend most of my time.
I have tried to imagine what my life would be like if my habitats were, say, town to suburbia to city. Or what if my habitats were city to beach? My entire view of life would be different than it is today. Difficulties come when someone with my human habitat base interacts with someone whose habitat base is my polar opposite. Our goals, our understanding of our habitats, our needs within the context of those habitats may well find little common ground. And as more people come to share similar habitats, the more those of us who don’t live in those habitats become obsolete, squeezed out of the mix as surely as bulldozers push over trees.
In part, one of the reasons why I write this blog is try and show people who don’t share my habitats what my habitats are like, in hopes that we don’t lose whatever common ground we still share.