First, we transferred repetitive physical work to machines. In the next big step, repetitive computing work was moved to the machine or computers. Now, repetitive thinking and analysis is being transferred to artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and robotics.
Each successive transition enabled human beings to fulfil their needs more efficiently, with lesser effort and at lower costs. As sustenance became easier, we focussed on the qualitative aspects so as to add more meaning and worth to life. We pursued art and sport with a lot more sincerity.
As affluence increased and more people came under the fold of this ‘improved life’. This is where we are in present times. Our pursuit isn’t merely survival, but a value added, meaningful life.
We find the very cities, which improved lives a few decades ago, an impediment to a better life. Every urban convenience isn’t seen as essential or beneficial. There is a need to focus on the quality of food, air and water. We acknowledge the importance of art and sports in improving mental health. We realise that for a more fulfilled life, we ought to pay attention to relationships, self-discovery and spiritual pursuits. Maybe, city isn’t a necessary condition for a better life.
Times have changed rapidly. Old paradigms are fast becoming redundant. We’re freer to pursue better lives, to feel far more secure. While it is liberating that one doesn’t need to strive hard to make ends meet, very few are equipped to take on the challenge of adding ‘meaning’ to life.
Farm living as a proposition has what it takes to meet the challenge. To begin with, it opens up the possibility of sustenance without having to mortgage entire working life to a corporate career or business. It offers a reasonably comfortable life thanks to technology. It also does away with the traffic jams, pollution and health hazards typical to a city life.
Though as a proposition, it is likely to be adopted by innovators and experimenters, there is enough evidence to suggest that many from the urban affluent class appreciate the benefits of farm living.
Whether farm living lives up to the potential of shaping the next phase of civilisation largely depends on how well it is promoted as being so.