I read this quote at the San Diego Zoo last August. As cliche as this may sound, immediately I knew that it would be a permanent theme/mantra to follow in my life. It echoes most of my favorite topics from at the very beginning to combining disciplines. This quote actually appeared on an exhibit next to the gorillas at the zoo and it talked about recycling cell phones. Yet, the wording is timeless. I have not read anything by Margaret Mead. In fact, I shamefully admit that I only know her as an anthropologist; but, I’d place a bet that she understood the connectivity of the world as well as the importance. [Her readings are on my list.] If you have ever received an email from me, you will see this quote on the bottom of it. So far, I have not found a more appropriate quote with which to replace it.
In previous posts, I have discussed my own theories of interdisciplinary collaboration, so I will not belabor the issue. But, I hope as we all meet different people we further understand the need for communication and the combination of even related fields like historic preservation, anthropology, archaeology, urban planning, business…practically any field. Even the various branches of historic preservation (folklore & oral history, restoration, rehabilitation, museum studies) need to be more involved with each other than they currently are.
We may all know that this is true, but do we really understand how to begin connecting with other fields? I do not claim to have the answer, but perhaps we can develop one together. The first step is understanding and valuing what other people are researching, accomplishing, and listening to ideas and goals. This can be realized through education, conversation, and a general interest. Someone out there: field the next step, please.
[If you are looking for a point in this post, it’s mostly to re-introduce this quote and remind each other about always keeping our minds open.] Any other favorite quotes out there?