Saturday, May 5, 2018

cowboy lessons

n her fine book called Adversity, Elaine Cannon shares this valuable example:
An old cowboy said he had learned life's most important lessons from Hereford cows. All his life he had worked cattle ranches where winter storms took a heavy toll among the herds. Freezing rains whipped across the prairies. Howling, bitter winds piled snow into enormous drifts. Temperatures might drop quickly to below zero degrees. Flying ice cut into the flesh. In this maelstrom of nature's violence most cattle would turn their backs to the ice blasts and slowly drift downwind, mile upon mile. Finally, intercepted by a boundary fence, they would pile up against the barrier and die by the scores.
But the Herefords acted differently. Cattle of this breed would instinctively head into the windward end of the range. There they would stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing the storm's blast, heads down against its onslaught.
"You always found the Herefords alive and well," said the cowboy. "I guess it's the greatest lesson I ever learned on the prairies--just face life's storms." [Elaine Cannon, Adversity (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1987), pp. 133¬34]
A person who understands that life is schooling is more likely to benefit from adversity than one who expects only happiness in life. [Cannon, Adversity, p. 46]
Dallin H. Oaks,  Brigham Young University on 17 January 1995.

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