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October 23, 2019
Thanks to technology and a daughter with a Type A personality, I may be the last generation to bemoan our lost family history. You know the kind—the stories and memories told by my father and grandfather that were never recorded or put down in writing.
My daughter will have less to bemoan. She signed my mother and I up with an outfit called Story Worth that sends an email question—a prompt, my teacher wife would call it—to stir memories from the back of our minds and encourage us to put them down in writing. These memories are then assembled into a book and those small but important parts of family history—the stories and memories we all have—are preserved forever.
While that is not the main topic of this blog, it has been a great experience. If you have said the same thing as I have, wishing you had the brains to record some of the old-timer’s stories, I encourage you to check it out.
What prompted this blog is a recent question from Story Worth that is relevant for all of us, especially in a year like this one.
The question: Have you ever given or been the recipient of a random act of kindness?
For many years, I was blessed to have as a friend and mentor a WW II veteran who spent the last year of the war in a German POW camp. One of his sayings was that you should do something good for someone every day, but if they knew about it, it didn’t count.
I’ve kept that memory and tried to honor it. But I’m afraid that I’ve been the recipient of those acts of kindness far more than I’ve been the giver.
Some have said this is the most challenging year ever in modern beef production. For many, I have no doubt that’s true. And we still are dealing with wacky weather, flooding, an uncertain market and uncertain economic future, to name just a few.
But through it all, I suspect many have both given and received those random acts of kindness.
Don’t stop. Now more than ever, we need to seek the good, find the best in ourselves and others, and do something good for someone every day.
And even if they know about it, it still counts.
Senior Editor, BEEF Magazine
Burt Rutherford is director of content and senior editor of BEEF. He has nearly 40 years’ experience communicating about the beef industry. A Colorado native and graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in agricultural journalism, he now works from his home base in Colorado. He worked as communications director for the North American Limousin Foundation and editor of the Western Livestock Journal before spending 21 years as communications director for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. He works to keep BEEF readers informed of trends and production practices to bolster the bottom line.
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