In light of the disaster in Japan, nothing we endure on the farm is really that bad.
We have struggles and difficulties to overcome on our farms and in our rural communities. We deal with volatile prices, great risks, weather challenges and even some weather disasters, but nothing we could endure around my part of the world could match the devastation and magnitude of human tragedy that has unfolded this past week in Japan.
The 24/7 news cycle bellows out disasters every day. There is tragedy and real human suffering everywhere in the world. But it blows our minds to watch the complete destruction of the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan, not to mention the very real worries about radiation from their damaged nuclear plants.
We think about what it would be like to walk in the shoes of the Japanese citizens who have lost their families and everything they have and are now enduring days without fresh water or food, and it is difficult to imagine. My wife and I, with our four children, including a little 4-month-old who has just suffered through a week of respiratory difficulties with RSV, can’t even fathom how we would get ourselves in survival mode to keep our family alive during that time under those conditions.
Sometimes we, as farmers, tend to be rather skeptical and even cynical about our futures on the farm. We worry about all kinds of impending troubles, and it is alright to be concerned and prepared in this way. However, in the grand scheme of things, we are probably pretty well off for the most part.
I truly enjoy bringing out the lighter side of agriculture in this space. We need to lighten up. But in reflecting upon the tragedy we’ve seen in Japan in the past few days, and in New Zealand and other parts of the world in recent months, I have been counting my blessings and hugging my family members a lot more these days.
Any day when I can roll out of bed, have a hearty breakfast with my family, get the kids off to school, my wife off to work and work at my computer, interview farmers or complete farm tasks myself under a blue sky, breathing fresh air, I think I should be genuinely thankful.