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Heading Back To The Farm!

Mon, 2nd May 2016, 05:47

Not so long ago an editorial in a prominent newspaper suggested that twenty thousand plus people receiving layoff notices from their bank employer should consider heading back to the farm. That there was no reasonably realistic prospect of again finding themselves gainfully employed. Technology had made them obsolete.

People are not alone. Governments are grappling with the phenomenon of societies experiencing zero growth. The historical measure of economic success has been expanding economies. Debt laden countries desperate to find solutions are borrowing stimulus spending ideas from the 20th century hoping to spur growth. Some arm chair warriors have even gone so far as to suggest the capitalistic models our economies are built upon are dead.

As I travel through a country where modern and traditional values seemly clash on a daily basis, I see shepherds in the distance tending their small flocks of sheep and goats and silently recall the editorial propagating a return to the farm (editor’s note: goats are herded not flocked; gee, talk about city folk!). What exactly does heading back to the farm mean. As my mind ponders the idea I can’t help but smile as I reminisce about driving through the countryside with a small group heading from Toronto to Waterloo. One particularly well educated young lady questioned what all those rectangular shaped boxes were at the end of each driveway.

picture of two old rural mailboxes

Ah yes, what exactly would heading back to the farm be tantamount to. Well there is no simple answer that isn’t likely beyond the scope of this post. Certainly any life changing experiences that pushes us out of our comfort zone are not walks in the park for most people. But the same technology that has altered so many lives can also help us adapt to the inevitable change (editor’s worth noting moment.. Increasing numbers of people are pursuing and willingly adopting varying degree of lifestyle change).

Steve Ballmer once said “The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn't think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential”.

Whether disconnecting from the grid, growing an urban garden, creating a beehive, or figuring out how to buzz predators with a drone while you tend your herd from the comfort of your living room, the same technology that has displaced so many people is enabling many more.

Looking out over the horizon I see more Bedouins tending their animals. I smile at the realization that even nomads are empowering themselves by embracing technology to create eCommerce websites that market products and vacation experiences. Possibly that editorial had it right. Maybe we should all head back to the farm!

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