Time changes everything, even blogging, influencing, and writing. Back in the day, you would often see phrases encouraging people to thank farmers for what they do. Things like, “if you ate today, thank a farmer” or “if you didn’t go to bed hungry, thank a farmer” were everywhere. It was meant as a way to encourage people to recognize how much their modern lives still depend on agriculture.
Lately the phrase has gone out of vogue. Most ag-vocates have moved away from seeking praise or appreciation for being farmers. After all, that’s not why farmers do what they do. It isn’t some primal sacrifice to ensure that our fellow humans are fed, clothed, and can buy anything and everything. Farmers usually enjoy growing animals and crops. They appreciate the rural lifestyle and culture. They enjoy working outside. And some of them prefer not seeing the people they help feed and clothe on a regular basis.
I completely understand that sentiment. At the end of the day, everyone works because they want to make some money, not because they’re taking one for the team.
But I think that’s the wrong way to look at it. To me the shift away from thanking farmers is a sad reflection on the divisiveness in our country. It’s a reflection on the fact that we often feel like we don’t need anyone else to maintain our lifestyles. We’ve lost our sense of community and we don’t appreciate how other members of our society influence and support our lives. We don’t appreciate anyone anymore.
So how about this: instead of losing the “thank you, farmers” sentiment, we expand it?
Thanks to the truck drivers that accomplish logistical feats to keep our grocery stores stocked.
Thanks to teachers for expanding and growing young minds.
Thanks to our firefighters for being available when bad things happen.
Thanks to waitresses for providing friendly service aswe enjoy a meal with family and friends.
Thanks to the grocers making sure our communities have quality food available.
Thanks to our neighbors for creating community and watching out for our homes as well as theirs.
Thanks to the entrepreneurs for creating new products that make our lives easier.
Thanks to the IT professionals who can fix our glitchy technology.
I hope you get my point. Our world doesn’t need less appreciation; it needs more. We need to recognize the contributions of everyone that makes our world run, even though we don’t know most of them. And taking that approach may just solve some of our greatest challenges.