Friday, May 30, 2008

The City and the Farm

I talk about my grandfather a lot in my posts and what a grandfather teaches. I use this format because there was a time when the elders of a family were honored for their wisdom knowing that they had the knowledge of many years of experience. In today’s world especially in societies as ours, we seem to forget that and have a tendency to treat them as if they were children needing to be cared for.

To me that is one of the pitfalls of an egalitarian society. It results in a belief that wisdom is shared by all although I also believe that it was not an intentional result. People need to be needed and they need to feel they have something to contribute and that need goes beyond the idea of someone to go to for money when in a financial bind or a baby sitter to save money.

I also use the farm as the place in my format and I do it for a reason. It offers a setting that, in today’s society, a city cannot offer, a place to do one of the most basic responsibilities of life and that is to raise children to become responsible adults. The rules are far different on a farm than they are in the city.

On the farm, you learn that there are no guarantees in life from an early age. In the city, you learn that there are safety nets regardless of the problem. In the city, where a safety net is not provided there is a demand that government provide it.

On the farm, a child learns discipline for he is given chores to do that require daily work on his part. Moreover, he learns early that his chores are an important part of being a member of a family. For the family is depending upon him to do his share. You cannot find that in city life.

On the farm you learn early to respect all life for you learn to realize just how much you depend upon it for your own life. In the city that is impossible for only people is the important life there. All other life is considered a nuisance meant to be exterminated or tossed away if no longer wanted.

On the farm you learn that each season has a purpose and adjust your life accordingly to fit that season and to make it productive. In the city the change of seasons only determines what you will do with your free time, summertime is the season for the beach and wintertime the season for the slopes.

On the farm, you learn to have faith in yourself and those that are close to you for they are the ones you must depend upon in order to succeed. In the city, you need to have faith in others and know that those who are close depend upon you in hopes that you will succeed. Failure on the farm is a family affair, in the city it is a personal affair.

On the farm, the laws of nature are the important laws to abide by and man’s laws are secondary. In the city, it is the laws of man that one must pay attention to first and foremost by the nature of its being. For it is by abiding in one that life is respected in the seed, born, tended to, and in the end, value is determined of that seed. By abiding in the other only life has value, the seed has no value and the end marks the finish of any value possessed.

What is written is of a time past and has no meaning anymore, this I know. There will be some that would say that to glorify the past is to seek to bring back a time when many wrongs were also a glaring part of it, this I know also. It is not my intent to bring back the past but only to reveal that we should remember that it contained many benefits that no longer exists. We should also think about the fact that when comparisons is made that comparison is dependent upon what we use to compare one with other is and cannot do either justice for it never can be compared in respect of the totality of either’s existence.

10 comments:

tweetey30 said...

Griper you know I never lived on a farm but you it all makes sense to me to hear this. Most people now a days dont respect your neighbors or the elderly around us. Its pitiful really. I have to say my grandmother has taught me a lot about life but she passed away 5 years ago.

BB-Idaho said...

There is much to be said for growing up on a farm..learning the value of hard work, being your own boss. For whatever reason, that lifestyle has gone the way of numerous sad auctions at many old farmsteads. And despite "In the city, where a safety net is not provided there is a demand that government provide it.", we have spent untold billions on farm bills through the years: from the broader perspective, the entitlement society is not restricted to the urban, the poor
and the downtrodden. Farm subsidies intended to bolster the family farm now go to million dollar corporate operations. Corporations which employ illegal immigrants. Sort of Kafkaesque, IMHO. Most unfortunate, the agrarian way of life was a builder of charactor and resilience. But that was then.....

The Griper said...

yes, bb, i agree though we still have to admit there still are a few family farms still, probably more than we realize too because of all the publicity is on the those large corporated farms. but mostly as you said, it was then.....

Lista said...

We can still learn from what we consider the best of any era. For exmple, if it is good for children to have chores at an early age, than we should give them chores, even if it's house and yard work, whether than farm work.

Not only are the elderly not respected, but the kids now a days don't even respect adults.

The Griper said...

lista,
"than we should give them chores, even if it's house and yard work, whether than farm work."

yes, that could be true except for one problem. we live in a society thar declares that kids should be given a reward(payment of money mostly) of some kind when chores are given.

on the farm it was done because you were part of a family and expected to carry your own weight as some would say. the reward of it were the principles instilled into the child.

Karen said...

Wow, Griper-- very insightful, as usual.

What about the suburbs? ;-)

The Griper said...

karen,
i had to chuckle at that. nice try.

but the answer is there too. do those who live in the suburbs need to abide by the laws of nature or the laws of man primarily?

Lista said...

The payment of money does teach some principles of money management, yet it also reminds me of another negative trend and that is that on the farm, children were valued as more of an asset because they offered free labor, yet now a days children are more of a liability because we have to supply their needs, yet they do nothing to add to our jobs and businesses.

The Griper said...

lista,
the payment of money teaches nothing of money management. it teaches that when you do something you deserve to be paid for it in some kind of reward.

it does not teach responsibilty and obligation to family. it does not teach that you are a part of a family and as a member of that family certain things are expected of you. it does not instill into you those attributes that go to make up what being a responsible adult is.

and that, to me, is what parenting is all about, teaching kids what being an adult is all about. that is their first obligation to their kids.

it is one thing to say, let kids be kids while they are young but one problem. they grow up being kids yet. they have not learned to be good adults.

Gayle said...

Love this post, Griper, but that's because I live on a farm. We farm our own vegetables and sell the surplus. My hubby and I are retired, but decided to renovate an old farmhouse and do this. We made that decision exactly because of the points you made in this post. Our first three children were drug around the world during my husband's 20 year Army career. When we adopted our six-year-old granddaughter because her mother abandoned her and her father knew she would be far better off with us, we decided we would raise her with great work values and what better place than a farm in the country? So... this lifestyle isn't dead - it's just very rare! :)

I find it very shameful that older folks are not valued for their knowledge, their stories of the past, and their wisdome. Try telling most young people today how you lived without the conveniences and the toys they have today and their eyes glaze over. Shame.

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