George Washington, the Farmer
When I hear this name, the first thought that comes to mind is the president's face on a common U.S. currency coin --- the quarter. Of course, I also think about his important contributions to the nation that we learn about in history class at a considerably young age. However, after enlightening myself about George Washington before his presidency, the name now means more than a general who led in battle or a president who helped establish the government we read about in textbooks. To me, the name "George Washington" represents innovation.
George Washington's preferred profession as a farmer is often overlooked. Washington, in my opinion, is a groundbreaker and perfect example of being ingenious. His vision for his two passions --- farming and his country --- were oddly connected, so much so that being a farmer helped shaped one of his best-known traits: leadership. He developed great leadership skills while being an agricultural innovator. He made the most out of every resource available and never wasted anything --- from the skin to the hooves of an animal. Fascinated with technology, Washington always looked for new tools and methods to run his farms more efficiently. He even broke the norm of rotating soil every three years and instead went with every seven, which he thought was more practical. This represents who we are as a nation today almost perfectly because we're always looking for ways to evolve, even risking failure to get things done more efficiently. As a nation, we've established laws in order to have the country run more smoothly and that's what Washington's life was all about: finding ways to innovate.
A person's early years structure their character. For Washington in particular, his agricultural roots shaped him into an appreciable person because of his hard work to increase the productivity of his farms. Through careful experimentation and observation, Washington learned what worked best --- from his crops to his animals to the fences that surrounded them. This would later contribute essential traits for his presidency because he knew exactly what commitment was. He was committed to the people and believed in doing his part to benefit the entire country, rather than just himself. His upbringing influenced his way of living just as it does to everyone. If he would have grown up a different way, he likely would have had a much different approach to life, and perhaps the entire nation would have turned out differently as well. Younger days form people by taking each lesson from their personal life and mashing it together to form that unique individual. This applies not only to Washington, but everyone, including myself.
I believe someone's ultimate lows in life can bring them to their optimum. The obstacles we face can physically and emotionally drain us, but they transform us for the better. As an adolescent, I've had many difficult experiences, but learning to turn those negatives into positives has helped me tremendously. Being self-aware helps me cope, makes me a deeper thinker, a more descriptive writer and a more open-minded person. Some experiences have left me completely despondent at times, but I am convinced that dealing with certain situations shapes me into an understanding, optimistic person, which is exactly the type of person I hope to become. I can say with certainty that this has already drastically impacted the person I am now, but in terms of the future, I'm looking forward to meeting the new and improved version of myself who works doing what she loves best --- art. Just like Washington, when you have something significant in your life to ground you --- like farming --- you can face and overcome difficult circumstances and grow as a person. By understanding this, we're able to have a greater comprehension of our forefathers' actions, even if they might seem peculiar in our generation now.
George Washington was a man full of dedication and self-confidence. It is beneficial for me, along with the rest of my generation to learn about not only him, but other important figures from the past because that is the only way we will keep advancing. We can all learn something by reflecting back to the olden days. In a world where we always crave more than what we have, it is critical to be informed about the drastic difference there is to life now, in comparison to the past. It is a blessing to even be able to look anyone up on our electronic devices so quickly; and we should really take advantage of our resources, just as Washington did in relation to his farm. Honestly, it's great that we are introduced to a good amount of significant people our entire school lives but I think taking the time to further enhance our knowledge on more scientists, poets, politicians or whatever your interest is in, is what makes us smarter and more appreciative of the world around us. Having a genuine comprehension as to why people like George Washington, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Albert Einstein are so recognized makes us realize how we actually owe a large amount of gratitude to the people who made it all possible.
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