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The Personal Service of Farming

October 31, 2012 , , , , , , ,


What are the personal services you use in daily life? You may not be aware of all of them. If you buy prepared foods, that preparation has been done for you. You know if you hire a child care helper or manicurist that you are buying personal services. It is hard to find all the ways others contribute skill and time to our daily lives.  Compared to primitive self reliance our modern lifestyle is comprised of paying more for labor and transportation than we pay for goods.  Many have lost the skills needed to make anything from scratch.  Farming in the US is a prime example. We are running out of people who know how to grow food as this profession declines rapidly in young people. If we don’t train or import some people to do the service of farming we will  face serious problems.

My grandparents owned a farm when I knew them so I was exposed to the milk cow, the beef cows, the pigs, the gardens, and even to the butter churn.  I lived in the city of Tulsa but considered the grandparents spread in Arkansas where was assistant farmer  on the weekends to be extremely romantic.  I rode a mule and shot a rifle.  I thought of myself as very Annie Oakley when I was about 5.  My parents had grown up without modern 1950’s conveniences and liked the idea of jet setting rather than  farming.  They enjoyed the country club and the University Club, and garden club, and host of other urban activities that Tulsa and Pittsburgh offered them.  They did not seem lazy to me, but they certainly had a different style when it came to personal services than my grandparents had.  There was no way they would ever own a mule or live next to a barn.  They were over all of that. They were urban, upwardly mobile, and believed themselves to be super liberated.  I suppose they were.

Every generation acquires some new skills and drops others that no longer serve the moment.  It is a great idea to stay abreast of technology, move with the times, and accept the reality of now.  In some phases of life, however, it is healthy, good, and indeed necessary to play a creative skillful part in carefully designing reality.  If one chops no wood and carries no water the disconnection from source becomes disabling.  The spirit has no dwelling in a world that offers only convenience.  The soul requires art, and the spirit creates those artful moments that last in memory.  One’s own self realization can’t be purchased, downloaded or installed.  There is no service that can impart the satisfaction derived from self expression.  Once practiced, polished and realized each one of us has a gift of powerful personal charism to offer to all the sentient beings. We can only hope that some young Americans find  a vocation in farming.

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