Knowing What to Blame and Why?
Water is life; water is livelihood. Spend some time on a farm and you will begin to truly appreciate this idea. My days of working on a farm are long past, but there are a few lessons that I still carry with me from that time. One of those lessons is the importance of rain.
There are a few distinct memories I have from the time spent my grandparents’ cattle farm regarding rain. I remember watching my grandfather checking the water gauge every morning after breakfast, even when it didn’t rain. I learned that even a good morning dew could be a welcomed reprieve of sorts. I overheard conversations between my grandfather and other farmers about there not being enough rain and there being too many bills. I sat at the dinner table and listened to my grandparents talk about having water trucked in order to keep the cattle properly watered. There were times when my grandfather and I would walk alongside dried creek beds and I would hear him cursing under his breath. Rain was an essential element necessary to the success of his farm, and rain was one of the few things he could not control.
I knew at a young age that rain was important to success on the farm, but it wasn’t until years later that I truly understood the weight of not being in control of something that is crucial to success. In my younger years I would often lay the blame for missed opportunities and failures on forces beyond my control. It was easier to blame fate, luck, or God for failing than admitting I didn’t plan enough or work hard enough to achieve my goals, and I wasn’t alone. I don’t want to make sweeping generalizations but I’ve seen and heard many people over the years (past and present) do the same. It’s all too easy to blame our misfortunes on a lack of rain (I mean rain in a figurative sense here). But there came a time in my life when I got to thinking about my grandparents and their farm. There were years when there wasn’t enough rain, and my grandfather’s quite cursing may have included some comments about fate, luck, or God. But he never gave up. He may not have been able to control rain, but he and my grandmother continued to work and manage a successful cattle farm until they decided to retire. That’s when I realized that I was in control of much more than I thought I was, and if something really is beyond my control then I need to find a way to persevere.
I don’t worry about rain the way my grandparents did, but those memories of dry creek beds and grandpa checking the rain gauge taught me something I carried beyond the farm. It’s important to recognize what we can and can’t control in life and to be careful about misplacing blame.