Have you ever upset someone or gotten into trouble for something and you weren’t quite sure why.
I remember when I was a kid I got into very serious trouble from my father for calling some-one a ‘dag’. It was a word that was popular culture in the classroom in the 70’s and I had no idea why my father would find it so offensive but then my father was a sheep farmer.
To me the word meant ‘someone who is, or is perceived to be, unfashionable, lacking self-consciousness about their appearance and/or with poor social skills yet affable and amusing’
To my father the sheep farmer the word meant ‘dung-caked lock of wool around the hindquarters of a sheep – an abbreviation of “daglock”
What the incident taught me was twofold. You can do or say things with all the best intentions that can hurt people and how important it is to have the right mentors along the way to share your journey to empathy.
This week when the Adam Goodes incident broke and just got worse every day I must admit before this happened I thought calling some-one an ape meant they were hairy.
I was obviously very naïve and looked up the slang dictionary to see why Adam Goodes was so upset and when I understood I would have been upset too.
Today the Conversation has delved much deeper with this article The ape insult: a short history of a racist idea and now I can really see why he was upset.
What I can also see is Adam Goodes must have had some great partners in his journey to where is today – how gracious is he. What a role model he is
What does this all have to do with agriculture?
As Australian farmers face all kinds of unrelenting changes in their environment, there is a need for individuals who are role models capable of turning strategy into reality.
We have a whole generation of urbanised Australian’s who have no-one to take them on the journey to understanding of modern farming practices
Our schools only have so much space in their curriculum to debunk the myth conceptions and perceptions. The Adam Goodes story reminds us just how many issues they have to tackle to turn out well-grounded Australians.
We need to position agriculture as innovative and dynamic and exciting and profitable and a career of choice for Australia’s best and brightest.
We need to position farmers as committed, professional and caring
But this cannot simply be a “push” situation by industry and government, it needs agriculture to step up and define the “pull”
The ‘pull’ starts with collaboration between all partners to share the journey. Is your industry a genuine partner on the road to success?
Special Friday Shout Out to all those special people who have been there for me on my journey. There is often a lot of pressure being in my camp – You are brave brave people
BTW Even the people who not been so supportive have made me stronger so happy Friday to you too.