Deliberate Agrarian
Snippet #17

Futureman's First Shovel

Dateline: 30 April 2014



A man I know recently said to me that one of the best things his now-grown sons did when they were younger was get involved in organized sports. He told me that playing sports develops good character. That is a common refrain. But I'm not persuaded that it is entirely true, especially when I look at the character displayed by many (or most?) who are in professional sports these days. While sports participation can certainly be a good experience for children, I believe that doing productive and/or creative work on a farm or homestead can be much better for developing character and preparing children for their future life. That has been my own experience, and it has been the experience of two of my three boys. I believe God created us primarily to glorify Him by using our minds and bodies to do productive, creative, responsible work, not play games. And so it is that I was pleased to recently have my two-year-old grandson, with work boots and a shovel, "helping" me to bring some order to the southeast corner of my garden. 






7 comments:

Gail said...

I think the positive aspects of having your kids participate in sports are long gone in my community. The kids need expensive equipment, play on beautifully-groomed fields (no mud shall touch their precious feet), and travel to games even on holidays like Memorial Day that have been traditionally reserved for family time. One reason my husband and I are currently shopping for land is so that our daughter (19 months) can grow up learning where her food comes from and see what real work ethic and responsibility means. She is such an amazing helper around the house already and I know she'll absolutely adore working on the garden and taking care of chickens. I remember my own experience of staying on my grandma's farm for a month every summer with such fondness and I hope to give my daughter a similar opportunity.

Gorges Smythe said...

With games, as in gambling, someone else has to lose for you to win. Not so with gardening. Cute boy!

Rozy Lass said...

I've long thought that sports expose character, not develop it. Work, especially the kind that takes a season develops character.

Sharon said...

O my! I don't know whose comment I like best! They are all so good. And, Mr. Kimball, just being the kind of Granddad you are - present and teaching - is a gift that can't be bought. Thank you for this post. I agree with it all, and with all the comments, too. Excellent!

magnoliasntea said...

Amen! Work is how we are meant to develop character, not by emulations. What an adorable little man. You and your family are truly blessed.

Jonathan Sanders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan Sanders said...

I'm with Rozy - sports reveal character rather than develop it, and often you end up putting your kids under the authority and influence of people whose character you do not admire. Extensive involvement in youth baseball is something that my wife and I regret providing for our sons.