My View From The Country

Thanksgiving Is A Time To Rededicate Ourselves To Others

I look at what I’ve been given – a chance to ranch, a wonderful family, good friends – and it is far more than I could ever deserve. 

This fall, I visited with producers who are mired in three years of ongoing drought. Their livelihoods and their futures are literally turning to dust before their eyes. I’ve also seen the devastation wrought by floods and blizzards, but I have to admit that these tragedies also serve to remind me of just how fortunate we are as well.

Despite the trials and tribulations, the industry has a lot to be thankful for. We have moisture in many areas that were deficient, lower feed costs, record prices, etc. Of course, as Americans, all of us were given an amazing gift, a gift bought and paid for by past generations. Isn’t it ironic that the greatest blessings are rarely earned? Among these I would count my faith, friends, family and country.

These are largely gifts that most of us don’t earn ourselves, and probably don’t deserve. So you’d think we would be inherently grateful for these blessings. However, we often need to be reminded just how fortunate we are.

Perhaps we forget to be thankful for all that we’ve received because we convince ourselves that we’ve earned them, and that the bad things that occur to us are unjust outcomes of a random and cruel cosmos. Perhaps it is ego, or perhaps it is that we realize that with such an abundance of blessings comes great responsibility.

For people like us, blessed by being able to work in nature and care for God’s resources and animals, I think we have a higher bar to reach. Like the Bible says: “To who much has been given, much is expected.”

Perhaps that’s why Thanksgiving is such an important time of the year; it makes you focus not only on how fortunate you are, but what you have been called to do as a result of those blessings. I’m one of those who believe the desire to achieve more, and to strive for more, is inherently a good thing. And as I grow older, and hopefully wiser, I am beginning to understand that real wealth has little do with money, and that the real challenge isn’t in wanting more or comparing yourself to others. Rather, it’s how you can contribute to your family, community and world in a meaningful way in accordance with your talents and purpose.

Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate what you have. To me, nothing is sadder than those who are incapable of enjoying what they have because they are wanting more. It is almost paradoxical, but the most blessed are often the least grateful.

 

Subscribe now to Cow-Calf Weekly to get the latest industry research and information in your inbox every Friday!


John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach of the UCLA Bruins, once said, “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”

I look at what I’ve been given – a chance to ranch, a wonderful family, good friends, and it is far more than I could ever deserve.  I’m grateful, and I pray that I might show that gratitude in a way that spreads the blessing. I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving, and don’t forget to thank a veteran for your freedom.

 

You might also like:

Bale Grazing Lets Cows Feed Themselves

How To Treat Hoof Cracks In Cattle

3 Health Symptoms Even Busy Ranchers Shouldn’t Ignore

Ranchers Will Prevail After Winter Storm Atlas Devastates Cattle Herd

Do Beta-Agonists Figure Into Fatigued-Cattle Syndrome? Dan Thomson Says Yes

Discuss this Blog Entry 0

Post new comment
or to use your BEEF Magazine ID
What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.

Contributors

Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×