Monday, July 02, 2007

Who wants to be a farmer?

The feature section of this week’s Kompas Sunday edition wrote about the ‘Going to Village’ holiday program for school kids. Of course, for urban school kids, who don’t know anything about life in village. There is a conversation between the kids and their guide. It happened when the guide explained about paddy. That’s it – the plant that makes the rice we are eating.

Guide: “Now, who wants to be a farmer?”
Kids: (silent)
Guide: “Nobody? Then who would prepare our rice?”
Some kids: “Err… someone else?”

This section was supposed to be the nyinyir part of the article. But I found this conversation fascinating. Even from the very young age, the kids have understood the concept of trade and division of labor.

It’s fun to know how farmers to grow rice. But for God sake, you don’t have to be one if you don’t want to. (You may, if you want, of course). And it’s good to have somebody to grow our rice, to transport it to our city, and to prepare it. So our kids don’t have to grow their own rice. They can be pilots, doctors, or economists, or whatever to earn their living, so they can buy rice from the market.

That, my friend, is the secret of the wealth of nations.

P.S. This article had also triggered some family dispute between my wife and I. Read the story here.

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