Rural Lessons

by admin on May 1, 2014

I want to talk for a few minutes about my grandfather. It’s been several years since he moved on to bigger and better things on a higher plain. But he left numerous lessons that served me well in my career of tracking participants in longitudinal research.

Grandpa was a farmer in Edmore, ND. He tended to 80 acres over several decades. He was a man of quiet action and loud laughter. I’m going to talk about some of the lessons from his quiet action, although the “loud laughter” part of him is an absolute riot.

Alright, here goes:

1. Just Do It – The land isn’t going to farm itself. Get on that tractor and do it.

2. Keep Moving – When my grandpa was young, their house burned down to the ground. It happened on a Saturday night. The next morning they went to church because that’s what they did on Sunday mornings. Barriers will pop up in your work. Even as you deal with them, keep moving. It is in the difficult times where your project will break away from the pack.

3. Plan for the Future – The weather may produce plentiful crops or destroy them all. If you receive plentiful crops, save as much as you can because next year may be a challenge. If you have 10 years of plentiful crops, save for 10 years of tornadoes. If the tornadoes are minimal, you’re even better off.

4. Maximize – No matter the outcome, work your hardest to maximize the benefits of the current situation. It may look dire, but there’s a silver lining that will benefit you in the future. After the house burned down, Grandpa learned a ton about carpentry (at a very early age).

I miss you Pops.  Thanks for preparing the fruitful land.

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