Redneck Sustainability: Keepin’ it General

tractor-fixWhen did it happen that most Citizens of the U.S. lost the ability to grow or find their own food without having a kazillion other people involved in a half-dozen different stages of bringing it to them?  When did we lose the ability to get to work without highly trained specialists to insure we can get there?  When did each of us get so highly important and specialized that no one could possibly replace us?  How many times this week have you used the word niche in a conversation?

It’s getting worse isn’t it?  I know, its probably my fault.  My grandfather could palpate a cow,castrate a steer, fix a tractor, grow an orange, build a house, harvest cotton, train a dog, milk a cow, weld a gate, speak Spanish as well as English, tell when corn was ripe, hear quail chittering from fifty yards away, tune his car, converse about sports as well as politics and sing in the choir.  My dad could still perform most of these tasks well and could write poetry too.  What about me?  I write a poem from time to time.  I am pretty good at telling when corn is ripe.  I guess I could still clean a quail with a little effort and some time.

Most rednecks still know general knowledge in several major categories of living, while the rest of modern civilization seems to be trying to become worthless in every way but one.  And damned if I ain’t following the groovy train right off the bridge.  Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t highly specialized species usually run into highly specialized brick walls at highly deadly speeds on planet earth?  I am guessing that the giraffe is going to have a harder time adjusting to global climate change than say, the rat.

Maybe this is one of the reasons we are going to have such a hard time weathering global economic change too.  Rednecks may not understand the value of their generalized skill set, but the rest of us would benefit from broadening our horizons a bit.  When it comes to your survival remember, keep it general, stupid.

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