The argument about where you live being more or less important than the genetic DNA make up, wiring that Mom and Dad contributed to the first seed called you.
What if you lived in Maine, instead of in an urban sprawl? How would your kids have turned out different or more or less the same?
If you lived on a Maine farm, and your kids by seven had mastered every piece of machinery. With skills at behind the wheel driving. Confidence, industrious, productive vital members of the Maine farm operation. Not child abuse. Not youth exploitation. Not slave labor with your brothers and sisters joined by a thread of steel links on the same chain gang. No one wearing prison stripes of black and white or orange jumpsuits with a bar code, long number row of identifying digits.
No one stole their childhood on a Maine farm or in a small business owner’s family.
It just was not spent pretty much on a couch holding a wand high. With a 300 hundred channels and uphappiness that there’s nothing to watch that’s exciting, entertaining. Plugged into the boop tube. The electric babysitter as they grew larger around the middle, more unhappy and frankly bored stiff. As the childhood raced by parked. Missing out on talents needed for life. Developed by trial and error. By example from watching older siblings, listening to parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. All working the same till the crop dirt, fence the beef or dairy pasture Maine farm operation. Weed, feed, tend the garden and wood box.
Respect for old, tired Maine farm equipment. For the animals, plants, people, nature you come into daily contact. How to repair it when it does break down to keep going. Tinkering skills. Mechanical prowess when its up to you and only you if all alone. During a shut down out in the back forty. Or when part of the farming operation cogs. That turn, whirl, buzz, hum during the planting, cultivating and hoeing, the harvest of crops or critters. Or is suppose to if you are not asleep at your station. Where sharp awareness, crystal clarity of how the Maine weather, climate that you have zero control over can ruin or boost the Maine farm operation. Acceptance, patience, but keep working on what you can do to make it better. Keep the Maine farm afloat.
You don’t have to be told, scolded or patted on the back and given lots of praise because everyone in the Maine farm family around you is pitching in just as hard.
The motivation, praise is self made, comes from deep within. By examples all around you. All Maine family farm members have their specific roles, place in the birth order contribution, skill set, involvement.
And until the Maine family farm kid gets a job during high school or college in another discipline other than agriculture, he has no idea that not everyone else was raised with the same engrained work ethic.
In fact, you hear on more than one occasion the question “why are you working so hard?” And without much thought, you smile. Answer but keep on task with a side response because that is how I am made, put together. Over achiever or just not wanting to waste daylight, get the chores down. To keep up.
Others notice you, your parents, your kids all pitch in, do more than your share. Have pride and respect for the quality of the work you all do. No matter what it is. The right plan, going all the way and then a little bit more. Because it all falls back on the way you were raised. Your reputation for not being lazy is something you hold high. The hustle says something about the way your parents raised you. They were raised, taught, shown. To be productive, not a drag on the system. To make your presence known. To do so good a job that others around you can not help but notice you stand out. Not your typical striped cat. Just want to work, have a productive day. Every day.
Does living in Maine’s small town simple surroundings help a kid turn out to be a more productive member of society? Or whatever community he or she lands in? No matter what state or country becomes the transplanted home? I know so. The stakes are higher to stay on a independent Maine farm. It is not a forty hour week. Heck, during planting, harvest, calf births or milking, you have met the forty hour mark by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
You do whatever it takes to get the job at hand done on a Maine farm.
Your enjoyment comes when it is complete for another season, year. Not in whining along the way to anyone who will listen how much you dislike this job. It is not about enjoyment, entertainment or aversion or pleasure for a task. It is about completion and moving on to other goals, targets. Chores to achieve them. And finding creative ways to short cut for greater efficiency without loss of quality workmanship.
Being positive, having not much sympathy for those that cling to lazy, an entitlement attitude. Or claiming they are being picked on. Instead, moving forward, stepping aside from emotional tantrums, melt down or drama. Making it a game, sport, passion learned on the Maine farm. And oh so foreign to someone that never had to work growing up. To contribute for the greater good of the family instead just being on the receiving end of spoiled, special, pampered, sheltered.