Fresh Facts Week 37: Gratitude is so Vital

Lot’s goin on here in the most fruitful part of the fruited plain; our stone fruit harvest is just one tiny fragment of a very eclectic industry literally from soup to nuts. Harvest is full tilt for us, and many neighbors still have thinning to finish. Table grape guys are trying to get leaves pulled and bunches worked. Citrus harvest still has a bit to go. Blueberries take thousands of harvesters, but only for a month. Veg is year round, as is dairy and nuts.

Suffice it to say, there’s no shortage of work for anyone who wants to. To the contrary, there’s a bit of a bidding war with an eleven dollar per hour floor under all field work now.

Personally, I like it. I love to see the men and women out doing the work getting the credit they deserve. And for people hustling, it’s more in the $15-20 dollar per hour range. I also like it a lot when the free market is setting wages. (Someday, I’ll write about the sacredness of the free market, but not today.)

What’s been swirling through my tiny brain this week as I’ve been bumping into folks has been the poison of entitlement versus the cleansing of gratitude.

I’ve had the privilege of visiting some first, second, third and fourth world countries, and here in a nutshell are some observations from a CA farm boy.

Moscow: wealthiest city in the world, nobody smiles. Kiev: Well educated kids under the thumb of Socialism; they just want to leave for anywhere else. Krakow: Happiest people (Organic produce is ubiquitous) carving their own path; grateful to no longer be under socialism. Prague: R&D for the world, desperate for a non-Russian energy source.

Vietnam: young & optimistic.

Cambodia: younger and sad.

Nicaragua: presently poor, potentially wealthy.

Gratitude is so vital for an individual’s health, as well as a region or country’s. But as I’ve thought about it, the opposite of gratitude could be entitlement. One thing for sure, both attitudes are contagious, affecting both communities and whole regions of the world from my unscientific perspective.

Let me take this furrow philosophy one step deeper if you’ll hang with me. I’m seeing a direct correlation world-wide between an abundance mentality and happiness and gratitude and health; as well as a distinct connection between a shortage mentality and discontent and entitlement and dis-ease.

People with a shortage mentality (and man I’ve run into a lot of em this week) are always unhappy and seldom vibrantly healthy. Their world view says: “There’s only so much; he who has more took it from him who has less & I’m entitled to mine, gimmie.” These people are never gardeners. They’ve never planted a seed and watched the creation of abundance.

People with an abundance mentality are always happy and vibrantly optimistic. Their world-view says: “Man, the sun’s energy is unlimited, so there’s plenty for all. Watch this, I’m going to plant a pack of Zucchini seeds and in a month, my family’s going to be eating fresh squash. In fact, people from parts of the country with an abundance mentality never leave their car unlocked because strangers will put a sack of Zucchini on the seat.

Don’t get suckered into the shortage trap. If you’re already there, buy a pack of seeds a hoe and call me in a month.


Author Uncle Vern

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