Proving to your father …

In email conversation just now with Ted it popped into my head how much of my life, in fact all of my life until my wife died a half decade ago was me proving to my Dad I was worthy, up to the mark. He died when I was late teens and I only ever saw him mostly from the viewpoint of a child, of his stature and ability, a well respected man I think. I can see him now in my minds eye in many situations, his garden, his work, driving in the van. Even though he died ’76 I still have all his tools and his lathe and have used these in my own place to make my own living, a different style of work but of integrity and honesty, my name goes around the world!

I’m also very aware of previous generations before him, my grandfather born 1870, his father around 1840, all were practical men. I always feel its vital we do not let our ancestors down, they struggled and made the effort, it would be shameful for me to do less. I imagine the past, I do not see ourselves other than hourly or weekly paid workers in modest dwellings, no carriages or fine town houses for us! Interesting question, how we view our ancestors, very telling.

So I’m wondering how rare my drive and wish to honour previous generations are in this so-called modern world? Maybe quite rare among those that seem unable to make an effort or never get the lucky break. But surely in times past the desperate could be able to gain some work somewhere, manual tasks, helping out, filling in so to speak, even the mildly handicapped I would hope fitted in somewhere, errands, simple work. Even their own existence would entail effort and exercise, fuel for the fire, something for the pot, all hands at harvest time. I think in our modern sterile world we have lost too much.

This post explains to me why I found it so impossible to warm to my ex girlfriends grandson of age fifteen, approaching the build of a young man, no longer a child but apparently utterly devoid of effort or desire to please, to prove himself, theres no standards, no higher set bar for him to aim for. I can write whatever I like on here, I know fine well they will never read it, to them words are ’empty things’. I would think possibly in all less consumer based non-western style cultures the value of making an effort, to prove yourself repeatedly on a daily basis still holds true. How much we have lost! What do these kids see when they look at their parents? They seem to think they’ve outstripped their parents by merely doing nothing.

My own idea for years has been the benefit of say practical animal and horticultural husbandry, something I think that hit home yesterday when a new neighbour tells me it takes £80k GBP per annum to house a prisoner at absolute basic requirements. I’ve a feeling the real figure may be higher but in all account four grey walls yield nothing, yet practical husbandry would surely help turn these people around? A hundred years ago it was found that only working with horses could help traumatised soldiers from the First War rendered hopeless with shellshock, but I wonder these days if that practice would ever be considered, the poor men would have to wander in a sterile world, devoid of what would really help them. Funny this, being told by people that do not use their hands that they are in fact NOT going to be able to use their hands, a prime example being the woefully lamentable and crazy eradication of traditional wood and metalwork in schools. My heart bleeds for the young person so eager to get working with tools.

E&OE copyright 2012

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