(as printed in Today's Horse Magazine - August 2016)
I am truly at a loss for words today. Believe me when I say that doesn’t happen very often. The truth is I have had a bit of sadness come over me and it’s been hard to shake. What am I sad about? I’m sad about the things that are going on in our country and our world right now. I am not going to state specifics as I’m sure you can fill in the blanks. I don’t really want to draw attention to that. What I want to draw attention to is other things we can all focus on to make our lives and world a better place. I have come up with my own Top 10 countdown list just now to share with you all (like David Letterman). *I’ve done my best to quote where I can. I don’t take credit for these awesome words…..I simply want to share them with you in one place as they are all over the internet.*
Top 10 Good Things To Remember
10. Don’t complain about things you are unwilling to change. If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it!
9. Every single person on the planet has a story. Don’t judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you. Judging a person does not define who they are….it defines who you are.
8. I’ve learned to love myself inspite of me and I’ve learned to walk the road that I believe. Never forget the path that you have walked, for it made you who you are today.
7. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. You’re never too old to follow your dreams. It’s not too late to embark on a new adventure. Life is so short. Don’t die wondering “What If…..?”
6. Everything happens for a reason, live it, love it, learn from it! Make your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.
5. Be like a duck above the surface, look calm and unruffled, but below the surface paddle like hell.
4. A strong and positive attitude creates more miracles than any other thing, because life is 10% how you make it, and 90% how you take it.
3. Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.
2. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” ~Marcus Aurelius
1. “There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.” ~Henri Frederic Amiel
Ahhhh, I feel better now! I have found myself doing a lot of riding out in the prairie lately. I’ve been thinking…..thinking about all of the things going on around us that I feel totally powerless against all of it. I’ve been thinking about our 8-year-old son and the future world that he is going out into (and of years to come).
This solidarity has done my heart and mind a lot of good. I cling to the above 10 statements (and others in similarity). They help keep me pointed north (on the correct path for me) and focused in on my goals and my mission in life. I have found myself watching old episodes of the Andy Griffith Show and re-runs of John Wayne movies. I don’t classify myself as one of those folks who has their head in the sand. I will just say that we all need to remember respect…..respect for ourselves and for others. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if the world had more dirt under their fingernails, fresh air in their lungs, more potato bug picking time with Grandma, and the scent of horse sweat in the air after a good day in the saddle. I’m quite biased when it comes to those things. In the meantime, I’m keeping my priorities straight……and saying prayers that everyone else will do the same.