I just came back from spending the day at Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls, NY. Acres of farm implements, tractors, tools, food, and....farmers. Hundreds of farmers with their families.
About an hour into the day, I realized what I love about the environment at the Farm Days. I looked around me and I saw that all the men & boys were MEN. I can probably think of 2 or 3 guys that I saw with earrings. There were absolutely no saggy pants. I saw 2 guys with long hair - and they were more the motorcycle-type, not the Justin Beiber-type. Everyone else had short, normal haircuts. The guys walked like guys, not like girls.
Speaking of girls...while the girls weren't all dressed with long skirts (though there were several), almost all of them were fairly modest in their dress. They dressed with a down-to-earth style. No mall-divas there. No one looking like they were going to work the night shift on Main Street. *Ahem.* The all-American girl, in the traditional sense, was well represented and it was refreshing.
Farmers are common sense folk. They depend on God, nature, and hard work for their livelihood. Reality is inescapable. The pretty-boys and glamour girls of the pop-culture are not looked on favorably, because they are not sensible. There is a sense of pride in being a farmer - being independent - being strong and practical.
At one time, the majority of our society consisted of farmers. Sure, some of those farmers had other jobs, as well, but everyone lived in the real world of knowing they weren't invincible, but at the mercy of God. If they didn't believe in God, they knew there were forces stronger than they and this kept farmers down to earth. It kept them down-to-earth in their thoughts, their families, and their dress.
Interestingly, the majority of the farmers at the Farm Days were probably not religious folks. Maybe 1/4 of them were - Amish, Mennonite, Conservative Christians were easy to spot. I got to thinking that, though taking God & His Word out of our schools has helped cause the moral decay of our society, maybe it's not the only reason people are acting as crazy as they are in our modern age. Is it possible that the moral decay began when farmers became the minority? Is it possible that with kids being pushed into higher education in order to have a higher income that they began to see themselves as invincible and forgetting that there is a "higher Power"? Our families have taken their eyes off of the land, hard work, and survival and now work solely to be entertained, relax, or to become intellectuals. Our society no longer has to depend on God or forces of nature. They depend on themselves or the "generosity" of the government. Reality is something to be escaped and usually is.
Farmers cannot, nor do they wish to, escape reality. They live it everyday. Long hair, saggy pants, & jewelry have no place on the farm. Basically, because it isn't safe. Beauty queens don't exist on farms - dirt gets under those long nails, the wind destroys the perfect hairstyle, and make-up sweats off the face. Dress isn't a moral issue on the farm - it's practical. It's a practical mentality that seems to have escaped the unsaved & saved alike in today's world; liberal Christians and conservative Christians. And, it's a shame.
In 2011, farmers are a rare and precious breed. Today, I was honored to walk among them.