How we should tread

There is no truth or value that imposes itself to which we ever manage to appeal in perfect abstraction from experiences and traditions given social life by human beings in just such and such a manner that they could not have foreseen or intended from the outset.

A pure rational appeal to any principle that purports to be a view from nowhere, naturalizing what springs from the cultivation of convention, obfuscates its root systems and the soil and nutrients that nourish them as well as the work of many a gardener. Whatever thoughts and sentiments we most prize hang on a delicate ecology whose fruits are incomparably more hard won than we generally recognize, exceeding our span of life like the great old growth forests.

That’s how we should tread: knowing ourselves to be slight as the twigs underfoot.