The Quality of Mercy in the Drought.Posted Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at 8:42 PM
The Quality of Mercy can be compared to choices made daily in a rancher's life. Gaining the upper hand against the drought, trying to feed and protect your family and livestock is an ongoing battle.
Our lives are parched for the lack of Mercy in society today. Most decent people choose every day to do the right thing in their place of business or with their neighbors and families.
Unfortunately there is a consortium of rabid dogs who are in the business to profit from the frailties of humanity and lack the compassion to express Mercy to those who are showcased in the headlines.
If you live with animals, you know that there are times when you need to put them out of their misery due to sickness or injury. It is also important to safeguard against the predators who would injure or maim your livestock.
A good rancher takes swift and decisive action to ensure the well-being or safety of his livestock. He knows that there are wolves or coyotes seeking to deceive and maim the very animals that he has been entrusted with.
Being Merciful does not mean that you have to swoon in surrender to current perception of political correctness. It does mean that you should keep in mind that the social contract of civility has a purpose and a pattern.
As we walk the fence line during this time of drought, every imperfection is evident. Fence posts may be rotting or tilting drunkenly. A line of barbed wire may be needing re-stretched or tacked up. The work is never done in this life until the last pole stands straight and the wire is stretched tight.
The meaning of Mercy becomes evident, when you are willing to help your neighbor fix his side of the fence without judgment or censure.
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Walking the Fence Line
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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.