As a millennial journalist, I live for social media and the Internet. I like being able to watch events transpire in real time. While I usually stay pretty tight-lipped about current events, particularly ones of a controversial nature, I have watched enough garbage flow through my news feeds to get a tad riled up.
Bear with me, my dears.
While the thoughts that would eventually form this new post were brewing in my head, I was reminded of something one of my favorite college professors, Dr. Howry, said to one of our classes. She told us that there was life outside of agriculture. Some of my fellow students got offended and some scoffed, but she was right. Since the agriculture industry is so small and interconnected, our sector of the economy can be a bit of an echo chamber at times, particularly when we are under fire for something the Food Babe or Chipotle said. But Dr. Howry was right; there is life outside of agriculture, and by that, I mean that we farmers are not the only ones who get dragged through the mud by the court of public opinion on a fairly regular basis.
For example, look at police officers. For heaven’s sake, I have never seen as much violence and hate directed at one profession as I have law enforcement, which is ironic especially after the many mass shootings we’ve had in the past decade. Here’s an idea: don’t break the law and expect to not get arrested. Seems pretty self-explanatory to me.
Then, there are doctors. After getting their Ph.D. on Google and medical degree on WebMD because of some weird rash they got while camping, people are convinced that they can cure their supposed autoimmune disorder by applying copious amounts of essential oils and downing apple cider vinegar to self-cure instead of putting on Neosporin or going to a doctor like a rational human being. No, people are afraid of things like being put on medication because doctors, who are often deep in debt from medical school, are supposedly sold out to Big Pharma. You aren’t going to cure an autoimmune disorder with things you find at Whole Foods just like you aren’t going to stop a hemorrhage with a Band Aid.
I could go on forever, but I’ll stop with teachers. For generations now, parents have become increasingly helicopter like and they’ll be damned if their special snowflakes handcrafted by Glinda the Good Witch herself out of snow formed by water from an artesian spring in Iceland get anything less than an A or get sent to the principal’s office. Well, maybe Sally didn’t ace her math test because she forgot to carry the 1 or Johnny got sent to the office because he was picking on the kid with glasses because he was different. Your child is not a special snowflake made from Viking snow because he or she is human and humans make mistakes. For the love of all that is glorious and beautiful, give yourself a break and go let your kid eat some mud. They might get a tummy ache later, but it’s better than letting an iPad raise your child.
Now, I have absolutely zero problem with accountability. Folks deserve to know that they are safe, their kids are learning essential life skills, and their food was raised by people who care. What I do have a problem with is people who cross the line because they don’t know how to trust the professionals and let them do their ding-dang jobs that they spent ungodly amounts of time and money learning how to do. I have a problem with the lack of trust in this country, and that our nation’s leaders have forgotten how to restore the trust instilled in them by their constituents. With that being said, farmers are not the problem, cops are not the problem, doctors are not the problem and teachers are not the problem. Society in general is the problem for creating a self-serving and disrespectful monster where we’ve lost sight of just minding our own business and letting the professionals handle what we ourselves can’t. So to all the professions I mentioned above: I salute you because we’re all doing the best that we know how, and that’s the best any of us can do.