Each person’s career choice is entirely one’s personal prerogative and such preference must unquestionably take into account one overriding principle — we need to harbour an intensely burning desire to immerse ourselves in a vocation that seizes the elusive promises of opportunity, personal achievement and innate satisfaction. Whatever occupation we choose must truly typify the kind of work we want to do above all else.
Cattle ranching was our livelihood for a quarter century before retirement and this was indeed what we had wanted to do above all else. It has been a wonderful, incomparably rewarding journey that not only met our fondest hopes but also vastly exceeded our original passionately held expectations. In truth our sojourn in ranching not only surpassed our earliest high expectations but those of virtually everyone who knew us as well.
There is no question but that we had down days when the list of actual and potential problems appeared overwhelming. The saving grace in each instance was that every difficulty almost invariably arrived unaccompanied and could be addressed one tribulation at a time. Basic human resiliency plus inherent confidence that “this too shall pass” is often the key to dealing successfully with adversity no matter how overwhelming an event may seem at its inception.
Our lack of knowledge of rural lifestyles actually proved on occasion to be a positive. We were not inextricably bound by traditions that might have hobbled us with structural resistance to new concepts. We had the singular advantage of basic business experience through which we recognized that intrinsic principles of management held true whatever the commodity or system.
There is one all-important requirement when adopting the lifestyle change inherent in developing a cattle ranch. You must genuinely like cattle for their sake alone. The dichotomy of beef production is that you will be successful only if you allow your deepest soul to immerse itself in its entirety in these human/ animal relationships while simultaneously recognizing that the fundamental purpose of raising cattle is that each will eventually but inevitably become a part of the human food chain.
Those who truly value the unmatched splendour of nature’s endless bounty will celebrate immeasurable fulfillment in the silent touch of sun warmed soil and the clean smell of cool water flowing on their own quiet land. Few of earth’s enduring pleasures can surpass the sounds of forest and plain that echo across our fields as each untamed creature declares its inherent right to their own space in this tiny part of our shared universe.
When you walk the winding cattle trails of your own land with justifiably intense pride of accomplished stewardship you will deeply appreciate the wonderfully magnificent world of which you have become an integral part. The many special places you and your family will cherish as no other place on earth because you elected to serve your inalienable right as a free person to exercise your vocational freedom of choice.
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