The Web of Life: Weaving the Values that Sustain Us

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With great warmth and wisdom, The Web of Life sends a passionate call for rebuilding community and family life. Award-winning journalist Richard Louv explores the fragile network that connects people and the strands that make it up: nature, childhood, adulthood, spirit, purpose, and community. Richard Louv makes a compelling case that our future depends on rebuilding this fragile web of life through strengthening and treasuring our friendships, our business relationships, and ...
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Overview

With great warmth and wisdom, The Web of Life sends a passionate call for rebuilding community and family life. Award-winning journalist Richard Louv explores the fragile network that connects people and the strands that make it up: nature, childhood, adulthood, spirit, purpose, and community. Richard Louv makes a compelling case that our future depends on rebuilding this fragile web of life through strengthening and treasuring our friendships, our business relationships, and our families.

Through eloquent stories, poignant discussion, and occasional quotes, award-winning journalist Richard Louv explores the web of life that connects people and the strands that make it up, including family, community, love, spirit, purpose, nature, childhood, adulthood, and humanity. Illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Glenda Winders
Louv calls on listeners to plumb their memories, to be constantly aware of the sensory events going on around them and to acknowledge the friends and family members who support them. He also reprises the concept of "love lists" Š in which he suggests telling people the reasons you appreciate and care for them instead of buying them gifts.
Copley News Service
Patricia Holt
These quietly eloquent observations on life and communityŠoffer a fresh take on the subject of values, family and otherwise. Louv dedicates the book to Lucy Hollembeak, a woman he met in Arkansas City, Okla., in 1968 when, working for the summer for the town newspaper at age 19, he visited her oftenŠAt 91, Hollembeak talked about why she chose to spend the last 31 years of her life, after her husband's death, alone, why she remains OEamazed and awed and touched¹ by watching a butterfly and whether death leads to an afterlife ŠLouv never forgets her (nor will we for a long time), and their subsequent correspondence becomes central to the OEweb of life¹ he believes everyone builds from childhood on, with strands to family, nature, community supporting all life.
San Francisco Chronicle
Body Mind Spirit
Re-enchants the everyday with a simple but graceful elegance.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The importance of connecting through memory and common humanity is the overriding theme that concerns Louv, a journalist and author (Childhood's Future), in this collection of thoughtful, persuasive essays. Because the family is the first community a child knows, the author believes that family stories handed down from one generation to the next are a unique gift that helps people put their lives in context. Louv describes the power of oral history in Native American life and expresses concern that an overload of information and lack of leisure prevent many of us from preserving our family memories. Louv also describes his efforts to connect his own children to nature by teaching them to fish and to become aware of their relationship to wildlife. Although not traditionally religious, Louv advocates cultivating a spiritual awareness to stay in touch and connect with a world outside the individual or the family.
Library Journal
Drawn mainly from Louv's column for the San Diego Union-Tribune, this collection of short essays includes journalistic snapshots of people he has interviewed, reminiscences of his childhood, and musings of his interactions with family and friends. Although his subtitle suggests a unifying theme of "values," there is actually little cohesion among the essays. Louv (Childhood's Future, LJ 11/15/90) jumps from homelessness and Mr. Rogers to Navajo spirits and $70 pet lizards. The choppy, fragmented style also detracts from the book's appeal. Not recommended. --Ilse Heidmann, Kyle Community Lib., San Marcos, Tex.
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of gentle reflections on important matters like family, friendship, neighborhood, community, and fishing at sunset. Louv (Childhood's Future, 1990) is a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune and a contributor to Parents' magazine who has edited and augmented this selection of newspaper columns with additional commentary. His theme is that each individual is a strand in a web connecting and supporting not only friends and family, but the larger world. In order of increasing complexity, chapters go from the strand of family through to the strands of time and spirit. Louv draws often on lessons from Native Americans to reinforce his ideas—for instance, how family stories become tribal stories and, ultimately, ancestral myths. Preserve family stories, he urges, even if they seem bland and uninteresting; they will ripen and gain stature in time, strengthening the bonds from one generation to the next. An encounter with Fred Rogers of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" highlights friendship, as does a tale of fishing with a friend, where mutual respect and a shared regard for trout streams bridge chasms in their values regarding guns and corporal punishment. In a section on community, he intersperses tales of neighborliness with hopes that America may yet develop a "great, good place" where "people meet by chance . . . [to] sit a spell." The surge of coffee bars in urban centers is a hopeful note, Louv believes. Chapters are interspersed with off-beat quotations, including four lines of pseudo-Shakespeare generated by a computer, kicking off a discussion of the possibilities of virtual reality. Louv's interests are diverse, ranging from death to countyfairs, Native American witches, and a chili harvest. Simple but not mundane vignettes of an ordinary life with wife, children, dog, and van, enlarged by a sweetness of spirit that turns floating on an inner tube into the essence of fathering.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573240369
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 7.56 (h) x 0.95 (d)

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