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 An Exploration of Human Nature

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MKeeney
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PostSubject: An Exploration of Human Nature   Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:57 am

giving this dialog a permanent high priority...mk



Larry,

Three weeks ago today we arrived back home, and I can say that things have yet to return as they were.  The day to day routine is the same, but I find my mind going places that it didn’t before.  Thank you for allowing us to invade your life for a few days.  It really was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had the pleasure of having.     Attached is one picture of the trip that I find most inspiring.  Perhaps the subtleties are what I’m drawn to the most; although I think I need to photo shop a cigarette into one of your hands to complete the picture.  Smile   I’d title this picture, “Integrity-the courage to meet the demands of reality.”

For a long time, I’ve read conversations on KC and 5 bar.   Not always understanding the specifics of genetics, purity of strains, complimentary genes, etc.., but always appreciating the opportunity to observe human behavior and  now believe with out a doubt, it is the one  influence that has ultimate limitation on one’s success of improving cattle.  Although all have their importance in contributing, it really has little to do with IQ, talent, brains, education, training, opportunity, or other components.  Instead, I propose it has to do with the other aspect of human nature that we pay too little attention to, our motive behind our actions.  Not just the individual actions of whether we feed mineral or not, or what we focus as priorities of management, or other specific actions, but first and foremost….. “WHAT IS ONE’S PRIMARY MOTIVE BEHIND CHOOSING TO BREED/RAISE CATTLE?” (I could apply this to my profession of teaching, or parenting, or any other topic, as it is just as applicable)   If honesty is practiced, I’d predict answers to include; obtain financial wealth, achieve status of significance, seek validation of importance, seek independence, seek approval and acceptance of others-possibly even family , or other self-seeking answers of the same.  No one is exempt from these curses, and until they are honestly acknowledged, they do contaminate everything one pursues.   Ignored or acknowledged, I’ve been taught that tradeoffs occur with every decision.

There are dimensions to a person’s makeup that deeply affect the results, the wake, that they leave behind that are definitely germane to the task but often do not get the focus of what they deserve.  Larry, I remember asking you what personal quality you possessed that allowed you to walk away from it all, at a time in your life when it appeared you “had it all.”  Cognitively, I understood that you were no longer content with the direction the cattle were going and removed yourself.  I was more interested in knowing what inner quality allowed you to do this.  Everything you answered portrayed ultimate SELF-LESS!  Granted I’m very visual and think in pictures, but I will always remember you pausing, cigarette between your fingers, head turned slightly and down, and the genuineness in your eyes, as you stared straight in my eyes and said, “Hell, no one knows how much I worry about the impact my livestock will have when I sell it to someone.  I’ve always thought it was my responsibility to worry about the person’s livestock herd that trusts me enough to buy from.”   It exceeded the “bull guarantee” offered by the self-seekers mentioned above, and extended to a personal responsibility of contributing to the betterment of ALL CATTLE, not just your own.  I know I mentioned this to you at Red Lodge, but I want to repeat it as it seems to be a greater compliment than anything I could articulate.  Jon and I have a good friend, a very self-less person who through health issues has learned and lived with “trade-offs.”  He also has a sincere passion and extreme knowledge of livestock and the industry’s so called progress toward improvements.  He’s never met you Larry and as he said, probably won’t ever, but he is very aware of your impact on livestock improvement.  He told me that when he dies, he is going to have you as an honorary pall bearer, because you’ve done more to improve the livestock industry than anyone else he knows.   He said, “This might not mean anything coming from a no name, redneck like me, but he deserves to know his impact on others.”    I argue that there could be no greater compliment, as Ralph Waldo Emerson stated…… “to win the respect of intelligent people”…… this is to have succeeded.




I’ve been working on writing this all week, and I’ve struggled to find words to accurately describe the following, so as I’ve learned from you, I’m now faced with a trade-off.  No more time to put off doing, so quality/clarity will be compromised.  I remember asking you another question while riding on the gator one morning.  In essence, it was “what keeps people who definitely have the intelligence, confidence, and ability from trying to do what you’re doing with cattle breeding?”  You replied that it was “time,” the most limited resource that keeps people from taking action.   I’ve thought about that a lot and have decided my original interpretations are much too shallow.  I remember reading something you wrote at one time where you stated that you see your work as only the beginning of a correctional phase for a continuance of what was started long ago.  From a spiritual sense, you seem to acknowledge and humbly accept that our lifetime is only one tiny interval on the continuum of life.  As for cattle breeding I suppose that means that we must acknowledge that we are beneficiaries of progress (positive & negative) made in past generations, take responsibility for our actions and motives in the present generation to give future generations the best starting position to continue our efforts.

You stated that Kristina and I, as school teachers have one of the most important jobs.  I argue that you are the Master teacher, and your impact in teaching others has more importance.  As an outsider, simply observing, you seem to have more “stubborn, hard-headed students.”   Smile  

-Kendra

Kendra,

I didn't know Mike was going to publicly post your very special email to me on KC, presumably with your permission, so perhaps it might also be appropriate to post my personal response to you now that we're all one big family .  Smile   I have read your gracious comments several times and you have caused me to reflect on many things which encompass my entire life.  

I was somewhat stymied when you asked what personal quality I possessed that allowed me to walk away from it all, at a time in my  life when it appeared I “had it all”....especially when you said,  "Cognitively, I understood that you were no longer content with the direction the cattle were going and removed yourself.  I was more interested in knowing what inner quality allowed you to do this."    Appearances are often deceiving and I too am struggling to find the words to honestly describe my motives for what I did and do.  

We all may have different interests in life but I seem to have this unexplainable innate compulsion to better understand the logics of all of life, which in itself can become a burden.   I have often thought about how none of us can pick our inherited tendencies to make different choices from similar environmental interaction.  Recollecting some thoughts in regards to choices, I was about in the second grade when our teacher told us about a person eating a carrot smacking their lips making a loud munching sound, how some were irritated by the sounds while others only saw the enjoyment of the person eating the carrot.   When I was very young, I was always irritated by the smacking sound made by our pigs eating and grunting to see who could eat the most the quickest.   Little did they know that the ones that ate the most went to market sooner, guess it's my nature that I never did like the attitude of "pigs".  Smile

I so appreciate all your comments about SELF and SELF-LESS which brought to mind an old fertilizer commercial which said "grow two leaves where one grew before, for every dollar invested you could get two back", but only if the two values remain comparative; or, the old story about teaching a man to fish so he can feed himself and others.   There are hundreds of quotes that could apply here, but I do believe in the capitalistic system yet one man's gain should not come at the expense of another, otherwise it is doomed to failure.....it is simply called "fair trade".    I do want others to get more out of my cattle than I do.   I am ashamed to say that due to my ignorance, without going into details, it took me nearly 15 years through a series of events to recognize what a self-centered monetary scam the registered trade really is.....one of many that thrives on other's ignorance, which I previously have more politely described as passive unawareness.

Yes Kendra, you have analyzed it all so well, it is our human ulterior motives that stifle genuine lasting improvement and so proper education is the key   I did not choose my destiny, it was guided and thrust upon me by others.   It was Mr. K. A. Clark who told me it must begin with proper education of the commercial producers but first the teachers must be educated to thoroughly understand their subject.    I have studied for 40 years while the beef industry as a whole remains in a state of equilibrium ....and it sure won't change if we keep measuring the usefulness of our cattle by how much they bring in a marketplace where fools and their money are soon parted.    

I was so impressed with your overall ending summary, YOU REALLY DO GET IT,  so, I want to repeat it here:
You wrote: "I’ve been working on writing this all week, and I’ve struggled to find words to accurately describe the following, so as I’ve learned from you, I’m now faced with a trade-off.  No more time to put off doing, so quality/clarity will be compromised.  I remember asking you another question while riding on the gator one morning.  In essence, it was “what keeps people who definitely have the intelligence, confidence, and ability from trying to do what you’re doing with cattle breeding?”  You replied that it was “time,” the most limited resource that keeps people from taking action.   I’ve thought about that a lot and have decided my original interpretations are much too shallow.  I remember reading something you wrote at one time where you stated that you see your work as only the beginning of a correctional phase for a continuance of what was started long ago.  From a spiritual sense, you seem to acknowledge and humbly accept that our lifetime is only one tiny interval on the continuum of life.  As for cattle breeding I suppose that means that we must acknowledge that we are beneficiaries of progress (positive & negative) made in past generations, take responsibility for our actions and motives in the present generation to give future generations the best starting position to continue our efforts.

 You stated that Kristina and I, as school teachers have one of the most important jobs.  I argue that you are the Master teacher, and your impact in teaching others has more importance.  As an outsider, simply observing, you seem to have more “stubborn, hard-headed students.”
 Smile
No wonder Mike said "WOW" !!!!     I just want to add that I certainly am not the Master teacher nor a master breeder, just using my herd as an example of the beginning of a tedious, collective and endless effort.   I also want to acknowledge Jon's thank you card and appreciation for his hand written note ..... Mike did all the legwork, it is I that must THANK YOU!!!!   And about the picture, I just see my aging eyes staring, not seeing anything but my own pictures stored in my head, trying to portray them out of my mouth.....I'd much rather look like Eddie so the next day at Horse Butte I wore my grey "Wye" cap...someday when Mike and Dennis become the "good guys", I'll give 'em one of my white "Shoshone" caps  Smile

Larry, in the vicinity of too much to do and not enough time (or energy)
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