Last year, I came across this article about “passion” and its connotations in the worlds of careers and hobbies. It got me thinking about the Farm and how it has changed from a “passionate dream” to a solid plan, on its way to reality. In this 9-part series, I’ll take the key paragraph from each of the seven P’s in the article and expound on it as it relates to the Farm.
Objectivity — the ability to see the world as it truly is — atrophies in the blinding light of passion. Adopting a peripheral perspective forces us to examine the margins.
I haven’t always been objective about the Farm. However, it started as an intellectual exercise, so it got a pretty good grounding in objectivity to start.
The places I struggle with objectivity now primarily have to do with the areas that I don’t have as much personal experience in: the educational, vocational, and therapeutic programs, for example. I know they’re things that are important, and they’ve become a core value of the Farm, but I don’t know enough yet to be able to examine them.
But it’s not just about what is included in the Farm – it’s what I’m excluding, too. Goats, for example – I grew up with them, and while there’s a certain soft spot in my heart for them (as long as they aren’t my responsibility), I also am adamantly opposed to having them on the Farm, simply because of the amount of trouble they can get into. I can get milk and fiber from other places (cows and alpacas), but an argument could be made for having a single, smaller animal (a heritage breed goat) rather than two larger ones. But then, it would be much more difficult to do the draft animal activities with goats instead of cows. My rationale for excluding them is not particularly reasonable, but I’m standing by it. Besides, how many people would buy goat dairy products or goat meat on a regular basis (keeping in mind, the goat has to have kids in order to give milk)?