Clinging to Our ‘Roots’ – The New York Times

Interesting reflections on ‘roots’ by Christy Wampole:

A desire for roots and rootedness may be acquiring a new importance in the new global tangle, where certainties are hard to come by. But I wonder sometimes if this root-oriented thinking actually causes many of the problems whose solutions we can’t seem to find. Think of your own roots and how much of your identity relies on them. How many things that trouble or anger you relate in some way, if only peripherally, to this rootedness? If you were to suddenly discover that you were mistaken about your roots, would you trade in your Lederhosen for a kilt? How negotiable is your sense of self? How much do your roots determine your actions? What if you’d been born with someone else’s roots, say, those of your enemy?

Each person will have different answers to these questions. And yet there is something universal about rootedness as well. All people seek a context into which they may enfold themselves. If we truly are wired for connectedness, we’ve gotten our wish in a sense; our unprecedented system of networks has shrunk the globe and at least offered the possibility for new kinds of continuity and growth. But it remains to be seen how this connectivity will be reconciled with individual identities, with old brands of embeddedness, and with nostalgia for the first garden.

Source: Clinging to Our ‘Roots’ – The New York Times

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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