Oftentimes when reading a book, the academic demands some kind of homework. Some extracurricular exercises that shed additional light and layers on literature as it relates to our own context. Ishmael was one of these.
Not long into this page-turner I found myself pouring through chapters of Genesis. Literally, holding an old, musky Bible in my hand and cross-referencing themes illuminated in Daniel Quinn’s timeless novel. For anyone interested in contemplating our human relationship with mother earth, this is a must read, and a book worth re-reading even in your more mature stages of life.
When one engages with a timeless piece of work, the immediate impacts are the most illuminating. Jaw dropping awe upon arriving at Machu Picchu. The awkward glance into Mona Lisa’s steadfast gaze. The rapture felt when listening to your favorite vocalist or violinist.
Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn - A thoughtful novel about the role of our species on the planet.
While reading this book, I encountered a literature professor on the plane who commented on my choice. “Ahh, a classic,” she said. “We used to teach this to our students in high school. Important lessons to be learned.”
Our conversation continued along the major narrative thread of sustainability. And for those that know Ishmael, you will recall the great divide that occurs when we cease to value our nomadic ways – in fact, we annihilate them. Naturally, this brought us to the topic of mobility as it exists today, and onwards into the pressing contemporary theme of urbanization (and yes remote work). Now, I’m not just throwing out broad-blanket terms here to sound like a pundit. There are crystal clear connections between Daniel Quinn’s writing and where we have arrived today. Or in his words, “how things came to be this way.”
I’m not going to lay it all out in a book report. But let’s just say that for those that make a living in the global mobility ecosystem – let us not lose sight of the impact our work has. There are a lot of inspiring developments happening in this space, and let’s face it, it’s in our best interest.
David is a passionate advocate for the freedom of movement, a father of two, spouse of one, and a licensed immigration lawyer.
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