I'm very lucky to have the family that I have. My grandparents have worked farms their entire life, and my uncles all shared the same room for most of their lives. We've worked hard for many generations, and that hard work taught me a lot. I've had the #privilege of being able to pursue education and my occupation of choice not just because of the work of my family but because of the places we grew up.
I see a lot of people my age who've never had to work for a living, or had to worry about food or shelter. I don't blame them - even I have had vast opportunity. But I worry sometimes when I see my friends unable to do simple things like cook or clean or contribute to the community. There's a disconnect among the people I know; their childhoods were all play and no work, and I can't relate to that.
Sometimes I tell my peers about growing up and working. Getting a job by the age of fourteen was expected, but what about before that? In my #family, everyone contributes. Relatives help each other on the farm, my grandfather and uncles would hunt together (although they do this less often these days, now that we have steady enough income not to have to rely heavily on hunting to keep our families fed). I remember my grandmother would hand the young children cups in the rain, telling us to go dig in fields for worms. She needed them for her garden, for fishing, for any number of things. So I spent time with my cousins, crouched in the mud, getting dirt under my fingernails. My sister, eight years old now, helps her grandmother with the orchard, picking fruit and sorting for the harvest.
My family has always valued #community, and though I disagree with them on a number of matters, I'm happy to say that I learned those values from them. We live among neighbours and family alike, and when everyone contributes and cares for one another, life is better.