Learn the Laws of the Farmer
By Dr. Ron Ross
Over one hundred years ago my grandfather homesteaded on a quarter section of land near Deer Trail, Colorado. On his treeless high-prairie land about 50 miles east of Denver he built a sod hut for him and his horse, then planted a crop of pinto beans and awaited his first harvest.
He stayed there long enough to find a wife and for my father and two uncles to be born, and to own the land. He then sold it and moved his family into Deer Trail where he and a friend invested their hard-earned money in a flower mill. That’s not the whole story of his life (1890 – 1960); it’s just the beginning. He went on to endure the great depression, survive two world wars, experience business failure and success, and retire in relative comfort.
From time to time we need to take a trip to rural America. We need to learn from those who have gone before us, who faced truly harsh challenges in life and endured, even thrived. Here are three immutable laws you and I in our hyper-fast world need to learn from those who have gone before us:
First of all, we need to learn The Law of the Harvest: what you sow is what you reap. Grandpa sowed pinto beans and never expected his field to yield him even one bushel of wheat. The same laws are at work in every facet of life. If you sow anger into your household you will not reap tranquility, you will reap more anger. If you sow honesty and integrity into your business relationships you will reap candor and trust.
Second, we need to learn The Law of the Weed: neglected fields go to weed. The farmer knows he must tend his fields to keep out the weeds that will take over his newly planted crops. It is not any different for us city folks. If we neglect our business the thistles of carelessness will choke the life out of our customer base and eventually our income stream. In our relationships the same law applies: if we ignore the people we love we allow the prickly shrubs of inattention to take up residence where once lovely flowers grew.
The third law is The Law of Disappointment: Crop failures are inevitable. Crops fail, businesses go under, and some relationships are damaged beyond repair. Grandpa’s Deer Trail flower mill burned to the ground when my father was just a young boy. But for Grandpa, failure wasn’t final. He moved on to bigger and better things and retired comfortably in northeast Colorado. Disappointment and failure are two of the many detours we all must navigate on our way to success.
These three laws are as true today as they were a century or even a millennium ago. Even our fast paced high stressed world is subject to their daily enforcement. Learn them, live by them and you will wiggle out of the mud.
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