More than once I’ve used this space to rant and vent and wonder what in the world gets into people. I’ve recounted dumb criminal stories. I’ve lamented individuals who seem out of touch or just plain kooky. Sometimes I’ve tried to guess at motivation and failed miserably. Interestingly enough, the older I get, the less all this surprises me. I may be disappointed or furious, but not surprised.
While I don’t set out to find examples of cruelty or stupidity or callousness, they do seem easier to spot in a world whose motto is ?if it bleeds, it leads.? Success coaches implore us to watch what we focus on because of laws of attraction and the belief that what we conceive we manifest.
As I sit here writing this, it occurs to me that goodness is out there but it tends to get second billing on the marquee. So here’s a deliberate attempt to see the goodness and resilience and selfless things that people do for each other.
We are about an hour away from having our spring seeding done. Based on the number of acres we seed, it should have been done days ago. There are some legitimate (and maddening) reasons why It’s not.
This spring Roy began renting a quarter of land from my stepfather. Countless buildings, old machinery, and the abandoned yard site overgrown with caraganas were levelled by a D8 Cat and pushed into a hole. Four of us spent several hours picking up hogwire, rusted steel, roots, fence posts, and other debris before Roy attempted working the land. After all was said and done on that farm, we had five flat tires, including three in one day! That can shoot a hole into a plan. On other days and other fields, there were machinery breakdowns and emergency parts runs to Vegreville or Fort Saskatchewan. There were rain delays and we thank the Lord for those. There was the big birthday party for Roy.
Tonight, the reason the tractor and air seeder are parked instead of finishing the job at hand is because Roy is overseeing the transfer of a neighbour’s canola crop out of a grain bin and into a grain trailer for delivery to the elevator. This is the same neighbour who is fighting stomach cancer. He’s lost weight and is weak. This afternoon he got readmitted to hospital.
In the big picture another breakdown, another flat, another delay seems a small thing. Roy is one of the good guys. He will help an ailing neighbour even though his own work sits. On Thursday, though I can ill afford the time, I will drive a dying aunt to an Edmonton doctor. I like to think I’m one of the good guys too. That’s how we were raised and how we’ve tried to raise our children.
Perhaps if more people made more time for what is truly important?the reaching out to others who are suffering?this planet would seem a friendlier place and our individual burdens lighter. It’s not easy and I fail daily in my attempts to put others first, but damn it I’ve got to keep trying, from where I sit.