Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Common sense or cents?

The great thing about growing up in the Osage is that you learn that a little common sense creates common cents, get it?  I can think of a hundred examples of my dad teaching me common sense.  It happened every day and here are a few examples:

  • When it is freezing outside and there is ice on the pickup window (nobody had a garage so it sat outside) an easy way to get the ice off in a hurry is to pour hot water on the windshield
  • If you are going to feed the cattle in the winter and the ponds are frozen go prepared, bring an ax 
    • bring wire cutters for the wire on the hay bales or at least if you are strong enough to take the wire off roll it up and put it in the pickup else you get your butt chewed out for leaving it.
  • If you get stuck in the mud or snow: jack up the tire and put some hay or rocks under it or some wood and drive away.
  • If you pickup quits running while driving check your gas gauge   It is best to check your gas gauge prior to driving rather than when it is too late.
  • If you chose to cause trouble at school don't depend on your folks to bail you out because you are their child.  YOU are guilty regardless of what your excuse is and you are better off getting punished at school rather than having the school officials call your parents.  
  • If you are so smart that you talk back to your folks or the teachers or any adult you had better hide cause if your folks find out you are dead.
Now there is an argument that Sense creates Cents and rightfully so country folks seem to have a lot of common sense but I propose to you that Purpose is what creates Sense and Cents.  If you have not read Jim Whitt's book (old Shidler guy) "Riding for the Brand" it would be insightful about Purpose.  I think that what has always driven me is purpose and it was helped along by common Sense and it created Cents for me.  How do you like them apples? 

Anyway, let me explain.  When dad told me to do something and I did something stupid like not bringing the ax to chop ice on the ponds and had to go back to the house and then back out to the ponds to chop ice thus wasting time I was chastised or chewed out for not thinking ahead of time.  Now how that works today is you can spend your time doing one task at a time and walk right by things that need to be done and waste time and money.  For example, have you ever gotten ready to go somewhere and then the last thing you do is go back and lock the doors and turn off the lights?  Why didn't you do that as you go thus saving time?  Or how about something simple like going to the grocery store and then when you get home you have to go back because you did not make a list in the first place and forgot the milk?  So what I am trying to say is dad taught common sense by explaining (that is the same word for chewing your butt off) how I could save time and energy (gas) by thinking a head of time.  

I think it is this type of training folks miss out on today because there is not enough responsibility put on young kids.  I think it is also what ultimately creates a sense of purpose in those who grow up in the country.  We learn to think and plan ahead and purpose about what we want to do.  Just like my daughter knowing when she went to college she wanted to do mission work or my son who knew early on he wanted to be a fireman.  It seems that most folks I grew up with knew what they wanted to do whether it was being a teacher, in the military, work in the oil patch, be a farmer or rancher, or be a business person and in my case I always wanted to be in computers like Uncle Bill Heath (brother of Jack Heath) who worked at Conoco in Ponca.

Purpose, a sense of knowing what you want to do and then pursuing it.  Occasionally we have to do a reset on our purpose either because we find it was unrealistic or that we accomplished it and now we need something new and many times we have a change in priorities due to family or some other situation.  But either way we Purpose to do something in life.  I also contend that if you do not believe you have a purpose or have not chosen a purpose you really have chosen one.  This is like not having a will only means you chose not to formally have one but you have one by default.  The government provides one if you don't and it is not pretty.  Call me if you need help on that one.  

Another way to say the same thing is:  If you don't make a plan you plan to fail.

Go figure and thanks for your time,
gary@thepioneerman.com


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