A little dirt won’t hurt

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I don’t discuss politics in my columns because it is poor taste and I want to live.

I will, however, discuss how our nation’s young adult citizens have fared in popular media. The answer: not well.

To watch the news you would swear that millennials — today’s late teen and twenty something adults — are all just sheltering in their safe spaces, fearful of their own shadows, and believing everything they see on social media and TV.

Savvy

To this I say, the people who believe this must be hanging out with all the wrong people. The young people I know today are some of the most social media savvy, highly educated people around.

People wonder why “millennials” don’t trust the media? Because “kids today” are smart and their BS meters are strong.

Just last week a major news network used video from a popular game, Fallout 4 (that’s a video game for we ancient ones) to illustrate a story about Russian hackers rather than digging up actual computer code. Oops.

I didn’t need competing news networks to inform me of this transgression, Boywonder called that out immediately. He knows his way around a video game and recognizes poor journalism when he sees it.

Lazy, entitled, and enamored of participation trophies? Hardly.

Don’t let his video game savvy fool you, my son grew up chopping firewood and tending a wood burner daily (and nightly) all winter long. He has repaired fencing of his own volition in blistering heat, and carried water to pasture animals in knee deep snow.

He is not special in this. Most of his friends have had similar entitled childhoods. Lazy they are not and they are better for it. What do all these kids have in common? They are almost all people involved in rural life and animal care. The 4-H symbol is recognized by all.

America’s real dirty secret may just be that enough of our young people just aren’t getting enough dirt.

Farm

Recently, I read an article about how far removed most Americans are from farming and farm life. We are not better for it.

To quote: “As a nation, we have allowed Disney to convince our children that all animals are cute and cuddly, then wonder why dozens of people get killed each year attempting to take selfies with grizzly bears, cougars and copperheads.”

Again, I just have to say that it may be the rural nature of their upbringing but the kids I know are well versed with wrangling wildlife (in the case of Boywonder that happens indoors and out).

They also understand the food chain — including hunting and fishing — and they further understand their place in it. This is why you will be very unlikely to see a country kid trying to take a selfie with a wild animal interested more in infesting them than Instagram fame.

The truth?

People have been complaining about the young people since dirt was new. It is just my personal point of view that the best kids today have been dealing with dirt — and working and playing in it — since they were new too.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Great write-up, Miss Kim! I agree with you 100%. We used to farm, but now live “in the city,” not far from Kent!

    My finger of blame points to the parents of these young ones who, quite frankly, don’t know anything about the world they live in. (Present company excepted, of course.) Our neighborhood has young mothers constantly screaming at their kids: “Don’t get dirty!” Hugh?

    Show them an oak leaf and ask them what it is. You’ll get the “deer in the headlights” look. But, ask them about some Hollywood star’s lacto-free vegan humptey-dumptey granola flavor, and they will tell you they’ve already tasted it and texted their feelings about it around the known cosmos.

    Young men–ask them to change a flat car tire.
    Young women–ask them to bake a loaf of bread at home.

    Clueless!

    If I were a young parent, the Rx: home schooling, no TV, limited computers and only a cell phone for emergency calls (none of the iPads, androids or whatever they call them.) Monitor their friends and make them aware of God’s green earth.

    Re-build America–NOW!

  2. FFA students in Nebraska are actively involved in soil use, health, land productivity and soil management. They were provide with grant funds for soil testing kits, soil probes, and soil curriculum. 6,000 students are involved in Natural Resource District land judging contests locally, state and national contests.

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