Matt has constructed a very careful definition of “vocation” as a response to Keith’s claim that “[f]ollowing our perceptions of what our vocation ought to be can lead to an obvious neglect of place.” I’m going to take a guess here and say that Matt and Keith are probably talking past each other here. The problem is that most people don’t construct as careful a definition of vocation – I’ll assume this given that many use “vocation” and “avocation” interchangeably. Actually, I think most people think far more pragmatically than vocation (literally: calling) – they think about career advancement, or even more pragmatically, just putting food on the table. I suppose that living in an economically viable region like Southern Ontario, I can tell others that it’s bad to move around a great deal – that they ought to have a sense of place from which they can derive community, but in reflecting on this question I would have to consider an unemployed maritimer. Many of them are going to Alberta, where the work is, and sending money home. This puts food on the table, but it also creates a nightmare of drug problems and depression for the social workers of Fort McMurray.

Should whole families move out to northern Alberta – ironically I suspect they do not precisely because they are attached to communities on the East Coast.