Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hard work? Are you crazy?

When did the idea of farming take on such a negative connotation? How do people think their food get's to the grocery store?  Food fairy?  While you are sitting at dinner tonight, please stop for a second and think about how your food came into existence.  

Growing up I wanted to be many things-as children often change their minds with the season.  Not once was I ever met with the kind of disgust for a career choice as when I told people I wanted to farm.  It seems farming has somehow become the career choice to criticize.  It conjures up images of dirt poor, filthy, smelly sub human conditions all orchestrated by some overall wearing, hayseed, podunk hillbilly with two teeth in his head.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I challenge my readers who have these images to meet a few farmers.

When I tell people I want to give up my job as a desk jockey to become a farmer their reaction would make you believe I told them I wanted to go burn down an orphanage..

I see it in their eyes.  The look.. like I have lost my mind.  I'm met with confusion and they are probably wondering why I have decided to throw my life away.  "Why would you want to give up a good job?" I'm asked a lot.  What makes a good job?  The question is rhetorical.  I know what they mean.  "Why would you want to give up a job where physical labor is non existent?".  

How has hard work become something to be avoided like a widespread disease?  There is no more honest way to make a living than working hard.  If you don't work you don't eat.  Pretty simple.  It seems trendy to denounce hard work as something the uneducated and less fortunate have to deal with.  Something like hard work apparently should be avoided and by doing so has almost become some sort of a status symbol to those who can make a living without having to do much of it.  Seems culture has bred a generation a people who want big paychecks and status coming automatically without lifting a finger.  I know people who actually seem to be proud of their ability to survive knowing as little as possible and doing the same..People's value system has been turned upside down in my opinion.

I read a quote the other day "Hard work is for people short on talent".  Really?  Is the author trying to imply that those who avoid hard work have a real talent at it?  I would like to know this purveyor of widsom's definition of "talent".  Where does talent come from?  From the ability to be lazy?  Do those among us who are most lazy posses the most talent?  I recognize natural talent but I see that only carrying someone so far.  The rest of the way would need to be accomplished through hard work.  Every talented individual I know has acquired talents by way of practice and hard work.  I guess it might take some talent to convince your boss that you are actually working instead of playing solitaire or facebooking day after day.   Not exactly the talents I personally value or appreciate. 

I didn't realize knowing how to grow your own food, harvesting food, building soil, raising and caring for livestock, running a business, running machinery, fixing machinery, processing meat, preserving food, haying, conflict resolution, production planning, timber management, raising bees, making maple syrup ect. ect,.- doesn't take talent? 

"Why would you want to do that" is the most common question.  "Give up being warm in the winter and cool in the summer?!".  I'm not "giving up" anything.  I'm gaining.  Gaining a sense of purpose, a sense of security, of community and providing a good product that will feed and nourish people.

Hard work has become something to be avoided.  It carries with it images of dirty, uneducated destitute folks who just "don't know no better".   People who actually enjoy physical labor are looked upon as if they are denying themselves a good life.  It blows my mind, really. I find no greater satisfaction then coming in after a day of good physical labor. 

To those who work for a living:  Hard work is something to enjoy and be proud of.  A valuable trait to pass onto your children.  Hold your head high at the dinner table and NEVER be ashamed of EARNING your supper.