The Work of the World

October 19, 2012 § 6 Comments

Late in the season, after the final crop of hay is in the barn, our neighbor grazes his cows in the hayfield abutting our southern property line. Over the past few weeks, the boys have taken to rounding up the 40 or so lumbering, cud-chewing beasts for evening milking and driving them the half mile or so across the ridgetop field and down the steep hill to the barn. They do this with no assistance from us. Our neighbor, who is 64 and recently broke ribs when he slipped and fell in the milking parlor, appreciates the help.

It is a task they approach with no small amount of enthusiasm, and I am grateful for this. Even more so, I am thankful that they have the opportunity to experience  first hand a small piece of the essential work of the world, the type of work that goes largely unacknowledged and unappreciated in contemporary America. I sometimes think there is nothing more honorable and heroic than to be engaged in this sort work.

Actually, I’m coming to always think that.


§ 6 Responses to The Work of the World

  • Tim says:

    Hi Ben – Bravo! You’re doing right by your boys. I wish I had the opportunity to have grown up like you’re raising your sons. I’m looking forward to your next book on the subject of money. Best of luck with it.

  • Jim says:

    Your work is great as well as your sons! Cheers Ben for writing about these great life stories. Jim, Montvile, NJ

  • Kevin Kahler says:

    Thanks Ben for you thoughts as it encourages all of us to think and act beyond our self.

  • That they approach ANY task with enthusiasm is worthy of mention. They are of an age where their male peers are for the most part becoming obsessed with online computer games and have not the muscles (except perhaps in their keyboarding fingers), to walk up and down a hill in boots, back and forth around stragglers, and then home. For two boys to work in tandem on a single job, peacefully? As a credit card would say, priceless.

  • perry says:

    I know you are proud of your sons, and should be. Keep up the good work.

  • When I’m trying to encourage my high school students to go outside of themselves and work on something that won’t immediately produce a tangible reward all I get is ‘Why?’ and there are so many reasons that I can think of that all that comes out of my mouth is ‘Because!’ I’m hoping that they’ll start doing things just to get me to stop pushing them, but slowly grow to appreciate the work the way it seems like your boys do.

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