The Social Contract-Ranch StylePosted Tuesday, January 25, 2011, at 12:39 PM
This is my first attempt at a blog, I have been reading other people's blogs avidly for some time now. Let me tell you a little bit about myself, I grew up on a small horse ranch in King Hill, Idaho, with 30 head of horses, a couple hundred cows and lots of kids. My father was Bud Allen. A great many things that I learned about civility was from his example.
The Social Contract from our history lessons from school is almost extinct. We can preserve it--one person at a time.
Ranch life is so different from City life. You know your neighbors, everyone waves to each other and not with just one finger. Your neighbors might have Angus Cows and prefer them over the Herefords that you raise. You don't have heated arguments over these preferences.
My Dad was a Quarter Horse man. He lived and breathed horses all of his life. But he also had some strong dislikes for other breeds of horses. Appaloosas for example or Arabians. As a 4H leader, he did not tell his 4H'rs that they couldn't join if they didn't have a Quarter Horse. What he did instead,was to encourage the love of horses, showmanship, and leadership to his kids. It didn't matter if you had a grade horse or a registered horse, if you wanted to work hard and be in 4H, he would welcome you. If you didn't have a horse, he would find one for you to use.
So the first rule of preserving our Social Contract is to recognize the common ground that we all share. First and foremost, we are Americans. Read our history and enjoy the wonderful heritage that our forefathers fought for.
Everyone is important in their own right. Just like horses, we can all graze in the same pasture regardless of political, religious or social views.
I invite anyone who reads this to begin somewhere in the preservation of America's Social Contract. It doesn't have to be a blog. It can just be something very simple, like letting someone go before you in the check-out line at the grocery store.
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.