Rice Farming

Thursday, 22 January 2009, 22:08 | Category : Life, working
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I finally finished reading Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. I didn’t like it as well as some of his previous work, but there were still some interesting theories. My personal favorite related rice farming to success in math courses. The relevance for me was less based on the math course success, but on the diligence of the rice farmers.

No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.

Rice farmers worked throughout the course of the year – unlike European farmers who would rest, and essentially hibernate while the fields lay fallow. The rice farmers worked at side tasks during the off-season, making baskets and taking care of the fields so that they were prepared for the next growing season. During that season, they were in the fields starting before dawn, weeding and working.

The rice farmers not only worked hard, they had meaningful work that defined their lives. They figured out how to do things on their own, and perservered against the odds. They worked three thousand hours a year, and taught their children to do the same.

I’m not sure if I am striving to be like a rice farmer because I admire their 3000 hours of work (That’s 8.2 hours a day, 365 days a year), or their perserverence. Either way, I do love me some rice. :)

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