Oilfield pencil art of hard work on an oil rig
Ninth in a series of oilfield pencil art
I came across an interesting statistic a while back: In this country, nearly half of the millionaires are either immigrants or the children of immigrants.
I think there’re two reasons for this:
One – we still live in a system where dreams can come true because of the freedoms others have won for us.
Two – they’re willing to both sacrifice AND work their butts off, more so than a lot of folks who’s families have been here a few generations.
My theory is that this change – and it is a change (our grandparents worked far, far harder than we’ve needed to) – came about as we moved further and further away from an agricultural society.
In days of yore, children were expected to work around the farm, and they knew the chores they were doing were important. As people moved off of the farm, parents tried to keep their children busy and productive but the kids sensed it was just “busy work” or work for its own sake, and they rebelled at it.
Also, hard work is, well, hard! And the instinct to give our children a better life than you had, is very real. And for a lot of folks, better meant “with less toil.”
I fully confess that I didn’t appreciate the merits of rolling up my sleeves and getting work done (not that my labors involve, you know, actual sweat) until I was almost in my 30’s. Sure, I heard how work builds character, how it’s its own reward, blah blah blah, but it was always about as enticing as running a mile in tight shoes.
I heard how work builds character, but it was always about as enticing as running a mile in tight shoes.Click to tweet
Getting one’s act together
The total mismanagement of my life resulted in me being essentially homeless. I had to crash on friend’s couches for a roof over my head. I wallowed around for a few months before deciding that I had better get my act together. Maybe I should try my art again…?
Thankfully, things took off.
Several intensely busy months later I met The Colonel, who stunned me with the observation that she’d “Never seen any other guy who could work as hard as her dad and grandpa. Almost.”
After picking myself off of the floor, I realized that I’d transformed my philosophies on work, albeit by accident, and was able to work damn hard and do lots of things other artists weren’t willing to do, or even try.
And I guess that’s part of the reason I’m drawn (a pun?) to these vintage oil field scenes. I respect the people who could work like that, and the ones who still do…
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