My 13-year-old boy is focused on a whole host of things that a normal 13-year-old boy is focused on – sports, school and the like (not girls too much yet, thankfully). But he also has a passion for animals and ranching. Judging, riding and working with his family and the cows – that’s where he feels at home.
It’s a passion that feeds my own life, and anyone with kids understands how much one can love the other. Increasingly my own personal driver is tied to providing a better future for my kids, and that’s changed not only my perspective and my efforts, but in some cases also my focus.
In some ways, I don’t feel like I have to answer to many entities outside of God, family and friends, and myself. But if one can answer those calls, I also believe that all else will be good. My focus used to be myself and my goals in nearly every aspect of my life from finances to career, but that’s shifted dramatically. It’s no longer so much about my future as it is “their” future.
Maybe I’ve shifted because it merely improved my motivation, but I don’t think that’s the primary reason. I’ve come to believe that many decisions personally, politically and industry-wise have been somewhat shortsighted and maybe even selfishly made. When it’s about my family, my friends, my industry or my God, sacrifices seem nominal and the effort required is never more than a mere inconvenience.
What more can we really do than make sure that the next generation has more opportunity for success and happiness than we had? Our country, our family, our industry and our lifestyle aren’t just worth fighting for, they’re our responsibility.
Now more than ever, the stewardship of our families, our industry and our country is under attack. How we respond and the commitment we show is as important as it’s ever been. Perhaps there’s never been a more critical time.
We must respond with concerted effort and with a hint of desperation that we may not have always had. This is a fight we can’t afford to lose, and one that should have been engaged in more fully years ago. But then, all we have is today and the hope of tomorrow.