We now have a new set of problems, which have been engendered precisely by our dazzling achievements. One of those problems is the widespread sense that something is now seriously out of balance in the way we live. All the technological wizardry and individual empowerment have unsettled all facets of life, and given rise to profound feelings of disquiet and insecurity in many Americans. No one can yet reckon the human costs of such radical changes, but they may turn out to be far higher than we have imagined.
Accompanying this disquiet is a gnawing sense that something important in our fundamental human nature is being lost, abandoned or sacrificed in this headlong rush, and that this “something” remains just as vital to our full flourishing as human beings as it was in the times when we had far fewer choices on offer. Could it be the case that the global-scale interconnectedness of things may be coming at too high a price? Could it be the case that the variety and spontaneous diversity of the world as we have known it for all the prior centuries of human history is being gradually leveled and effaced, and insensibly transformed into something standardized, artificial, rootless , pastless, and bland— a world of interchangeable airport terminals and franchise hotels and restaurants, a world of smooth surfaces designed to facilitate perpetual movement rather than rooted flourishing? A world of space rather than place, in which there are no “theres” there?
Could it be the case that one of the chief things neglected by this pattern of ceaseless movement is precisely the opportunity to live dignified and purposeful lives of civic engagement, the kind of lives that thinkers since the time of Aristotle have regarded as the highest expression of human flourishing? Is the living of such lives even conceivable in a world without “theres”? ~ Why Place Matters
So what is the answer? I believe part of the solution is found in allowing the Incarnation to help inform how we live.