We are all farmersBy JEFF NORTH,
Is your glass half full or half empty? When you opened your eyes this morning did you welcome the sunlight that found its way through your blinds and drapes or did you dread what the day was to bring? Are you, for the most part, an optimist or a pessimist? Are you taking notice of the color change and smile as leaves flutter to the ground in your lawn or do you chronically complain about them finding their way into your gutters along the eaves of your home? Think about this as your read further and we’ll come back to it.
I’ve made a living for almost 40 years working with land, producers, and crops. Now I don’t disk and hip the land nor do I own a cotton picker or a combine. I don’t drive a tractor or spray the crops. I don’t go to a lender and borrow two million dollars to grow a crop but in reality, I’m still a farmer. In fact you’re a farmer too and so is everyone you know. I’ll explain.
When you walk into your kitchen in the morning and pour your first cup of coffee, you’re about to become a farmer. Whether you know it or not, you’re carrying seed. If you greet your wife or husband with a smile and a soft touch, you just planted a seed. If you compliment your daughter and wish her a wonderful day you just planted another seed. When you tell your son to do the best he can on a chemistry test and that you’re proud of him, once again you planted a seed. Now look at this scenario. If you complain to your wife that the kitchen is a wreck and those dishes have been in the sink for two days you also planted a seed. If you tell your husband that he doesn’t make enough money and the lawn looks terrible another seed was planted. All seeds will sprout and grow, the difference though is that good seed will bring bounty and bad seed will grow into noxious weeds. Let me explain a little more.
Plants produce seed. In a sense, we’re all plants. When we compliment someone or do something to bring a smile to another and our children take notice they are likely to do the same for someone down the road in their life. Conversely, if we are grouchy and complain and ridicule, they will pick up on that too and spread the not so good seed. Do you see where I’m headed with this? Now you may be asking what in the world does this have to do with an outdoor column? Again, I’ll explain.
As hard as I try not to, I find myself at times, complaining. I have too much work to do. I can’t go hunting because I have to catch a plane to Washington. I’m frustrated to the point I don’t want to even go hunting anymore. I think I’ll just quit. The bucks aren’t big enough around here anymore. We don’t have ducks like we used to. I’m going to get out of my lease and sell my guns and calls. Can you relate with any of this? Let’s see if we can work on it.
Recently an event was held that is known as “The super hunt.” It is sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. The super hunt is designed to allow opportunities for individuals with certain challenges to go deer hunting. Hunters and landowners across our state donate their time and efforts to ensure that guys and girls with certain difficulties have a wonderful time in the woods and a chance to enjoy what many of us, me included, take for granted.
My neighbor, Trent Dismuke, and his business partner Terry Godfrey have been participating in this event for many years. This year their hunter was Ashley Cheroni. For the entire weekend, Trent and Terry enjoyed the company of Ashley and his family. They took turns cooking and hunting with him to ensure he had a great time in the swamp and an opportunity to collect venison for his family. I really enjoyed listening to the details of their weekend and Ashley made the grade when his opportunity came. Now the freezer is full of fresh venison for the winter and he and his family have wonderful memories of his time in the woods.
You know, we take a lot of things for granted in our lives. Most of us don’t sit and wonder if someone will be generous and offer their time to take us hunting or fishing. I can only imagine depending on someone to pick me up and take me somewhere to have an opportunity to watch a whitetail buck or hear the gobble of a wild turkey. For many, depending on someone else is their only hope to enjoy what we “assume” will always be there for us. It kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?
Trent and Terry planted good seed. What kind of farmer are you? Do you plant good seed with smiles, generosity, and compliments or do you plant “weed” seed full of complaints, and criticism? In reality, as humans, we all do some of both. I remember my dad telling me one day, after having a bad ballgame, “Son, if you’re going to have a pity party, you’ll be the only one there.” He made a lot of sense. I’m going to do the best I can to see my cup as half full. If I have to go to a meeting and can’t hunt, then I will be thankful for having a job. I will do my best to compliment someone and share a smile rather than ridicule or criticize. I want to plant good seed, do you?
Until next time enjoy our woods and waters and remember, let’s leave it better than we found it.