Do yourself a favor and invest some time reading Mark T. Mitchell’s memories of working on a Montana ranch. As a country, we need a whole lot more of this and a whole lot less of anything that isn’t this.

I didn’t have a job anything like Mr. Mitchell did at 14, but I did a lot of farm work before I ever held a steady job, starting with pulling suckers off tobacco plants at 12. I had the same anxious feeling the first time my uncle told me to drive the tractor back to the barn while he drove the truck. Luckily it worked pretty much like a riding mower, so I didn’t mess up too badly.

All the things my brother and I had to do around the house seemed like slave labor at the time since we didn’t really have a choice in the matter, But we were lucky that when opportunities came to do some work for folding money, work wasn’t a foreign concept. It just made chores around our house seem more like slave labor. 🙂

Every one of those jobs “helping somebody out” for a day or two did infinitely more good for me in the long term than it did for the people I was working for in the short term.