Imagine that you’re a farmer planting seeds by hand down long rows of soil. Of thousands of seeds (over your career), only a few will sprout. Of those sprouts, some will require enormous care and will never grow any larger; they will not produce seeds of their own, and will do nothing but be small and interesting to look at. However, the ones that grow even a little larger require lots and lots of work. You don’t know what will help this totally unique plant grow, but it’s up to you to make it survive. So you manage not to kill it, and a flower grows off one side-giving you some beauty to appreciate and some new ideas to work on. Oh - but don’t forget that you are out there planting new seeds down your rows hoping for a new, different sprout someday. Back to your little flowering plant. Can it be the one that you will be able to feed yourself with? Can the interest that you generate in this plant bring in some resources to figure out how to make the plant grow until it bears fruit? The tall thriving plant with fruit is the goal-it will literally provide sustenance for you, the people that work with you to tend the field (planting and cultivating), and just maybe, the rest of the world. The fruit could cure a disease, or just add a tiny new clue to help us better understand *how to farm.*
Now, there are many jobs that allow you to work with only mature, bountiful fruit trees. You don’t even have to stop and think about how they grow; you just need to collect fruit. Collecting fruit is an entirely noble and satisfying thing to do for many people. Basic research takes you out of the fruit grove into what looks like endless rows of barren earth. There are lots of people out there in those rows planting, looking for sprouts, and hoping.