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From Engineer to Farmer
Reflections on a Life Well Lived...
It's not too often that I get to sit back and reflect on how I got to this happy place in life. Once upon a time I was a despotic engineer. I loved music and technology and thought that by following my true passions in life, it too would make me happy & fulfilled... Maybe you think this too?
I worked a decent amount, I ate out a lot, mostly Sushi. I saw some cool live shows. I played some video games, amongst other bad computer habits, and I generally spent a lot of time in front of a computer...
Something was missing, surely something felt missing...
When my employer Gibson Guitars went bankrupt a few years ago, I had already known that the Silicon Valley engineering life was hollow and I had been plotting my exit since a few years earlier.
I didn't realize it at the time, but I realize now what was missing is that it was a life focused on, well what most people are focused on, Materialism. Acquiring things and experiences that supposedly will make you happy & fulfilled.
But where does fulfillment actually come from?
For me at least, from watching my family grow. From starting my own small business. From casting myself out into the unknown chaos of life, not from being comfy all the time, but from putting in the effort of building & becoming engaged in my own loving community & family. A family I can lean on when I grow old and tired.
Certainly not from working & building a corporate empire for some nameless faceless publicly traded entity, owned by whom exactly? I'm not even sure whom someone working at Facebook, Apple or Google thinks that they're working for these days. Themselves? Their own materialism? Some idealistic notion around consumer electronics?
Lest us forget, these corporate giants are places where you get fired for “thinking different…”
Maybe you think you're actually working for the customer, the consumer. Ask yourself, does the world really need more consumer electronics & social networking? Does the world really need more smartphones? Whom is profiting from whom? Years ago I started asking myself, “Do guitars really need auto-tuning heads and more effects built into them that talks to a smartphone?” The Answer is a big fat NO.
In fact, I think that Larry Carlton & Robben Ford sound better unplugged anyways.
When I worked for some mid-tier to large-scale corporation it was quite difficult to find fulfillment and for me at least to find any spiritual or religious connection as well. It was until I became a farmer and was immersed in nature and outside of the urban experience that I was to experience a spirituality with nature and within my own nature as a Man. Now I spend my days utterly elated, toiling with my growing family by my side. Wondering why more have not followed the path of the Amish too.
To the Youth of America, Go Farm.
Rescue your parents from the belly of the beast. Don’t hold a grudge against your parents for embracing materialism. They only found out the error of their ways when it was too late for them, but it is not too late for you.
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