When you ask most young boys and girls what they want to do when they grow up, you will be hard pressed to find one that wants to be a farmer. That wouldn't be true fifty or one hundred years ago, but it is true today. There are many reasons that most children do not grow up with intentions of being a farmer, but probably the single biggest factor in their choice comes from what they see their parents doing.
As the number of farms and hence farmers has decreased steadily in our country, it only makes sense that fewer and fewer children and teens are being raised with a desire to be a farmer themselves. There are, after all, a wide variety of professions that are far more exciting and that pay far more money than being a farmer.
I did, however, meet one young boy whose life ambition was to be a farmer. When I asked him about it, he simply answered that he wanted to be a farmer because he loves being outside and he loves helping people get food. I thought this was quite a profoundly simple answer. I asked if he knew anyone that was a farmer and he replied that he didn't. He said that he read about being a farmer in a book at school and that he figured it was the best way to ensure that hungry people could eat.
As a career counselor, I am always attentive to the reasons why people are choosing particular careers. This young boy was entering a career because it sounded like a great way to enjoy something he loved while doing something that helped society. If only every person would think about those two factors when they decided to enter a profession then our society would be a much better place. I see far too few people know what they are passionate about and how their passion can make a positive difference in the world. Not many people have their stuff together as well as this little boy who simply wanted to be a farmer.
Before you decide to be a farmer or to enter any other profession, you need to think through your goals and your talents quite seriously. Whatever profession you choose should be something not only that you love, but also something that does something good for someone else.
Think about my small farmer friend the next time you need to be inspired in choosing a career that is best for you. Think about his simple desire to be outside and to help people get good food to eat. And then be inspired to do something equally as simple and as passionate.