They say that for you to be able to live a full life, you must at least publish a book, plant a tree, and have a child. Well, I have done the planting of the tree in 2009 – although it was not captured in this blog (doesn’t make it any less real). I have yet to write a book or bear a child. But I must say I think one of the big highlights of what I’m going through is to plant rice to feed somebody. Although this will not leave a mark that will last beyond my lifetime–after all, we know how food ultimately ends up–but I think that being able to grow food that will feed people is something noble. This is why farming is a noble occupation because you shed blood, sweat, and tears (mostly sweat) in order to feed people.
We all have to make a living to feed ourselves and our loved ones, and sadly the professions and careers that society make for ourselves is stratified–exactly like how classes are stratified. This is one of the reasons why the art of feeding the multitude is a dying art. Many people are foregoing their family farms and heading onto professions in a more prestigious manner (not to mention in a more lucrative manner) because it’s perceived as a “step-up” for the family. A step-up from farming.
Looking at the various “civilizations” in human history, the occupation of farming and making food for the whole population has always been reserved for those who were less powerful. However, many people forget that without the production of food, human society will not exist as it is. Unfortunately, being noble has never really been a source of political clout. Political clout could be acquired through cunning–even if it involves lying, cheating or stealing. Being noble and sacrificing yourself for the greater good does not have much rewards. In fact, if there are any rewards, they are usually given after you die–especially if you die a spectacular death.
I remember Don Quixote de la Mancha. Not so long ago, I was reading this wonderful novel for the first time. This was not a required reading during my younger years so I was not as fortunate. It truly is ironic that the noble of heart is seen as the lunatic while those who portray selfishness are considered normal. Perhaps normalcy is indeed the prevalence of selfishness–in a nutshell, we have Individualism.