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Youth Unemployment

Kids Count

I was fortunate enough to work should to shoulder with many adults during my teenage years. I learned many important skills during these opportunities. Principally, I learned the value of hard work and the importance of persistence. One summer, I picked rocks out of a field for an entire summer. At the summers end, I was convinced that I knew what Sisyphus must have experienced. The field was so full of rocks that new rocks seemed to appear every day. At some point it became me against the rocks, this vision became especially clear to me as this was a solitary effort, just me and the rocks.

I also worked with a variety of young adults that were working at farms full time. I learned a great deal form these young men, often I learned as much about what not do as I did about what I should do. Part of their sometimes reckless behavior was simply high-test testosterone influenced behavior and at other times it seemed that they were racing against the burden of so much physical labor that needed to be done. Racing across the bumpy hayfield sometimes dumping part of the load that would need to be reloaded and losing some bales of hay that would break. I learned the most from the older or middle-aged workers. They usually paced themselves and were solid workers that did not make mistakes. They were always careful around machinery, never misusing a piece of equipment and always performing regular maintenance, a grease gun at the ready and a variety of wrenches and screwdrivers, adjusting and tightening as needed. They seemed to have a bigger vision than just the physical work. They checked the gas and oil in the tractor the water in the jug and tools in the tool box.

Reach the writer at Hurlburt@wildblue.net

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