Sound parenting bestows privilege

Paul Burt explains how great parenting can create future leaders in farming.

In Community4 Minutes

Paul Burt explains how great parenting can create future leaders in farming.

I RECENTLY SPENT SOME TIME WITH A young couple who epitomise the way career, family and farming can merge into a very inspiring and rewarding whole. They have applied their enormous capacity for work, their talent, education and savvy to build a great business.

They own land, they lease land and to provide the cashflow for hill farm development they have a sharemilking
contract as well. They are modest about their achievements and say they were privileged that one of them was born into a farming family.

Privilege is an odd concept. These days it is often levelled as an accusation of unfair advantage but that can hardly apply to birth status, we are all a product of celestial bingo. Secondly, privilege doesn’t maintain itself. It can be built on (hopefully not to the detriment of others), or it can be squandered.

“If you are out of work, you are time rich and a quality time investment can be the turning point for many kids.”

Have you ever seen the before and after documentaries of big time Lotto winners. Ordinary people who don’t have the skill or discipline to manage their good fortune often slip back to their ordinary pre-Lotto existence. Are energy, ambition, tenacity and resilience genetic gifts or do we absorb them from those around us?

As members of society do we have a responsibility to cultivate these attributes or is it OK to just cruise? And what
makes some people recognise their value and others not? Humans are quick to feel slighted by others’ perceived privilege but jealousy has always been a destructive and restraining force.

As for my friends, did circumstances give them a head-start? Perhaps so but it should never diminish their own efforts. No matter the background they’ve demonstrated that combination of effort and ability that would see them succeed no matter what.

Recently a man of the same ilk has come under attack for pushing his staff a little hard. Peter Beck (Mahia’s rocket man) replied … “you don’t get to Mars working 9 to 5”.

The wonderful thing about NZ is that no matter what your background, we can all bestow privilege on our children through sound parenting. Whether the Government of the day helps or hinders your chosen path we are a first-world, free, democratic society. We also have a welfare system which may have its deficiencies but shouldn’t leave anyone destitute.

If you are out of work, you are time rich and a quality time investment can be the turning point for many kids. There is no doubt a successful society leaves no-one marginalised and regardless of the spin all of us have a duty to make that happen. A mature society must also accept that all people will never be equal and government policies designed to make them so are sure to fail.

Political parties over-loaded with ideology will never carry enough people withthem to propel a country forward.
Thank goodness most of us only spend the latter part of our lives ruminating over the perceived failures of leadership. Continued exposure can lead to depression.

The frustration lies in knowing our political cycle negates useful long-term planning and egos are able to take centre stage. Successful, farsighted entrepreneurs, business people with real world experience and ordinary folk at the coal-faces of life see what could be their game-changing contribution ignored. It is a situation that will see more and more
people talking to Peter Beck about those tickets to Mars.

  • Recommended reading “Almost Perfekt” by David Grouch.