the irresistible fleet of bicycles

man writes the NYT advice column in a panic that his son want might volunteer on an organic farm

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This one here is a good laugh for all of us who may or may not be the black sheep of the family. (My grandma clipped the above cartoon out of the New Yorker and promptly sent it to me without any card when I started farming six years ago. I like to think she was smiling about it, but it’s hard to tell.)

Some man wrote the New York Times “Social Q” column last week, explaining that he is “not paying $60,000 a year (after taxes) for him to become a farmer.” And, for once in a blue moon, the NYT writer abstained from millenial-bashing to explain that the parent might consider seeking out “less controlling ways to teach him the consequences of his professional choices.” Read the full clip below the break, and maybe consider that abysmal attitudes like this are best countered with a donation to your friendly local farm advocacy organization. We still need all the help we can get!

From Social Q’s, January 13, 2017: https://nyti.ms/2ioMAOI

My wife and I are spending a fortune to send our son to an Ivy League college. Over the holidays, he came home and told us that he loves his agricultural science class and wants to volunteer at a sustainable farm over the summer. Excuse me, but I am not paying $60,000 a year (after taxes) for him to become a farmer. My wife tells me to relax; his interests will probably change. He is only a freshman. But what if they don’t? How should I handle this?
 
ANONYMOUS
I love Burt Bacharach and Hal David. (What right-thinking child of the ’70s doesn’t?) But I have a bone to pick with some lyrics in “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” namely: “Lord, we don’t need another meadow. There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow.” Not true! If your son wants to be part of the revolution in sustainable farming and end world hunger, more power to him. (Or your wife may be right: He could trade in his overalls by Labor Day. He’s just starting out. What better time to explore?)
Still, you have a point. He who pays the piper calls the tune, as the proverb goes. But did you tell your son, before school began, that it was Goldman Sachs or bust? Probably not. (I also suspect that your parameters for acceptable study are broader than that.) You and your wife should discuss the education you are willing to underwrite and share the news with your son. He may accept your decision on his behalf. But here’s hoping he won’t. There are surely less controlling ways to teach him the consequences of his professional choices.

 

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