The world is a little topsy turvy these days. Surely, I’m not the only one who has noticed.
In the upheaval and chaos, there’s much sadness, sickness, disconnectedness, isolation, fear, and anxiety.
With ugly headlines dominating the mainstream news, it can be hard to take it all in. And its even harder to grasp that this is the world my kids are growing up in.
It makes me sad. And I know it makes a lot of you sad, as well.
How do I know this? Because you’ve gotten vulnerable, and you’ve reached out. I know that’s hard to do for tough-as-nails cowboys like you, but I’ve heard your cries and shared your concerns. And I just want you to know — you’re not alone.
Despite the negativity in this world, there’s good news — rural America is still here, and there is goodness in the Heartland.
We are still here.
We are still standing.
We are still filled with hope.
We are still raising food for the world.
We are still standing in our truth.
We are still nurturing the land and the animals.
And we are still one big family.
You see I’ve had the chance to travel quite a bit this summer speaking at agricultural meetings and conservative events across the country.
Stepping away from my quiet and peaceful life on the ranch isn’t always the easiest thing for me to do, but let me tell you — connecting with others in the heartland who are facing the same struggles but who have the same grit and determination to succeed anyway — well that’s worth the trip for me.
Because no matter where I go, I see the same things.
The Veteran proudly wearing an American hat.
The mother pushing a stroller full of rambunctious kids.
The rancher father-son duo seeking solutions for the business.
The energetic college kid eager to serve and learn.
The multi-generation families navigating tough times with a smile, always willing to lend a helping hand to someone else.
The American flags adorning main street.
The church bells ring.
The small town cafes serving up hot coffee and rolls.
The truckers dutifully passing through.
The small acts of kindness wherever you go.
The smile and one-finger wave from the driver traveling on the gravel road.
The kids in the park playing with delight.
The small town businesses providing goods and services.
And the collective belief that if you work hard and love your family and your neighbors, that anything is possible in this great country we call home.
Yes, these sentiments are alive and well across the United States of America. Despite the doom and gloom sold on the evening news each and every night, the reality is that there are still good people out there, millions of them for sure, who still believe rural America is worth fighting for.
So don’t dismay over the ugliness of the world. Don’t fear for your children or your grandchildren. There’s beauty and goodness everywhere if you have eyes to see it and a heart to attract it.
This week, I challenge you to seek the good. Reach out to a friend and make sure they are okay. Slow down for a moment to enjoy the views on the ranch. Make time for that coffee date. Volunteer to help with a youth group in town. Do what you can do to make your rural community the best place to visit in America, and I guarantee happiness and fulfillment will be the result.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.