Luxury and hard work


I’m sending this blog post from my camping spot since I am on vacation. We’re really roughing it here, what with WiFi, hot showers, and refrigerated beverages.

Camping is a strange past time that I’m sure only the developed world enjoys. Anyone in the developing world probably thinks we are crazy for doing it. Imagine explaining yourself to a citizen of a refugee camp in Africa: “Yes, I have running water in my house, an air conditioner, and lighting. But for one week every year we take great pleasure out of smelling of smoke, sleeping on the ground, and exposing ourselves to blood thirsty Mosquitoes…”

We do take pleasure in it. It definitely is a first-world luxury, and pure madness from the perspective of someone who dreams of running water and electricity, but it is a great way to decompress and focus on your loved ones instead of work.

It did make me think of when, even in this country, things were very hard: there was no running water, no electricity in the house, and no vacations. No farmer in 1908 decided to skip off to Maui for 2 weeks. At best they would take 2 weeks for some diphtheria or cholera.

Close to where we camped there is a ghost town museum which is a great example of that. On the site there are some rusted out pieces of turn-of-the-century farming equipment like: a scythe, a steam powered tractor, a thresher, and a horse drawn plow. It’s not difficult to imagine some of that equipment running and the thought of it is just plain scary! It’s no wonder why they would lose fingers or legs farming, the first tractors and implements were brutal and unforgiving.

It makes me incredibly grateful for all of these pioneers that decided to take these massive risks to develop our world, and we are reaping the benefits today. It makes you realize what a privilege it is to be alive today. But, we also have a responsibility to look to the future and imagine a world 100 years from now and work for our children and grandchildren so they have the same privileges and opportunities.

So when I come home from camping and return to our comforts, I’ll try keep that in mind.