Become a farmer? Yes? No?

Become a farmer? Yes? No?

What is your dream?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
To become a doctor?
A lawyer?
A teacher?
An engineer?
… …
How about a farmer?
“Farmers farm for the love of farming. They
love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the
presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe
even when it is making them miserable.” –
Wendell Berry.
The joy of a farmer – hard work paid off! 🙂
Tepuq Ribed with her harvested crops (tapioca)
Based on Wendell Berry’s quote, it might sound interesting to be a farmer but the reality might
disappoint you. Farmers do a lot of physical
labour every day.
In
Bario, many of the farmers are
elderly women. Throughout my three weeks’ stay in Bario, I barely saw any youngsters
helping these old ladies in the paddy field or in the farm.
I am
Gen-Y and I somehow understand why young people nowadays don’t like to work in the
paddy field. It is neither an easy job nor an effortless money-making venture.
It is tough and it involves a lot of accountability. To be a farmer, you have
to be exposed under the sun most of the time, you would have to handle materials and tools that could easily get you dirty or injure your fingers, or wounds in the blink of an eye.
It
is not as interesting as it sounds. And it doesn’t sound ‘cool’ when you
tell people you want to become a farmer when all your friends are very “ambitious”; that they want to become a doctor, an astronaut or an engineer. Can you imagine what would happen when none of the young generation wants to become farmers? What
if the existing farmers – the old ladies – pass away in the future??
Who
is going to take up the role/responsibility to grow paddy or be an ecotourism community guide, as we are now training them to be?
Buy imported rice?
Hire cheap foreign labour to solve the problem?
Can these foreign workers fully replace the locals?
I
guess all of us would have an answer deep down in our hearts.
I realised there’s something severely flawed in our society – in terms of ambitions and aspirations. Most of us are being told that we should become doctors, lawyers, and scientists instead of farmers or fishermen when we were kids. But…hey guys!! Each
and every job is equal. All jobs
deserve a decent pay and respect from people. There is no such thing that a
job is more superior to another job. Do you think the world is complete if everyone wants to become an engineer? Where should we get our food then? 
All of us are different. Diversity is what makes our world as interesting as it is today. How boring if everyone has the same ambition? If you want to become a farmer, there is nothing to be
ashamed of. Just aim to be the best farmer in the world! 
Remember, nothing in this world is easy. Likewise, nothing is hard. As long as you have the passion, farming could be interesting even if most people think it is tough. Just keep the passion going ! ^o^/~
Tepuq Ribed (the happy farmer) and me. 😀

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