Growing up on a farm is a great way to learn about the value of freedom. If you ask different farmers why they do it, many of the answers will center on the sense of freedom it brings – from planting to growing to doing what will make their life work on their land.
What we pull from their thoughts is a sense of ownership and independence. From my years on our family farm, I remember the feeling of freedom. It came from the simple things. On the prairies, I could see for miles. It was a sense of endless opportunity and awe of what could be out in front of me. It also came from experimenting with various projects, from planting new things to raising different animals. I had an entrepreneurial attitude to what I could do, even as a teenager.
In farming, there are many uncontrollable elements, which can shift the results of the hard work. Weather has a way of determining a successful year or not, and there is not much a farmer can do about it other than pray real hard and buy crop insurance. No matter what comes their way, there is a resolution to solve the problems that arise. With the freedom embedded in farming brings a strong sense of responsibility, too.
This is the crux of freedom’s lesson. It is about the freedom itself, and our resolve to embrace and protect it. Freedom is also about our recognition of what freedom brings in terms of responsibility. The twist on the responsibility is this: It is about solving the challenges that come our way as they come our way.
Freedom is a two-way street. We have the ability to roam freely through the prairies of freedom. By being free, we discover that other elements freely flow towards us at times, and we need to solve these challenges as they come. We cannot ignore them, as it is part of our responsibility in order to keep and grow in our freedom.
If you ever meet a farmer, you will see the resolve in their eyes and the wrinkles in their skin. When you talk to them, you begin to understand how they solve problems and challenges as they arrive. It is about their livelihood, so waiting for a better time is not an option, nor is pointing a finger at someone else. What is understood is how freedom survives on how strong our resolve is and how we solve our challenges.
In our nation’s life, there is a lesson in freedom to gain from farmers. We cannot continue the finger-pointing or punting of solving the real problems facing us.
In our personal life, there is lesson in freedom to gain from farmers. If we want the freedom to live in a meaningful way, then we need to take on the responsibility of leading our life with resolution and solution.
When I look back now, I appreciate much more the value of growing up on a farm. The grounds were fertile in more ways than one. From the prairies spring lessons on how to embrace our freedom with the resolve to make it better for all those around us. From the storms unfurl the lessons of working through what is presented with straight-on courage and acceptance of our responsibility to act.
Let’s engage these lessons of freedom with a renewed (re)solve.
What lessons about freedom did you learn growing up?