Choosing The High RoadPosted Saturday, April 16, 2011, at 12:55 AM
There have been times when I did not choose the High Road. Instead, I have intentionally wounded someone with my words and actions.
The High Road used to be the norm in the good old days. People didn't expect instant gratification and were content to savor the easy pace of life.
In Missouri, there are many highways that meander through tiny towns. You can still see the farms, old grocery stores, tiny schools and cemeteries. There are also empty buildings that once housed thriving businesses lost to the advent of the Freeway, WalMarts, Building Supply Stores and Truck Stops.
When you travel on the freeway, the pace is faster with more lanes to choose from. You can pass that slow motorist who is impeding your progress or wave a good-luck sign to the person who just cut you off. The trade-off of getting to your destination more quickly is that you miss seeing the heart of America's little towns.
I imagine the freeway as the road to nowhere. They tell you that you are saving so much time, but the journey is dull and uninspired.
In America today, our lives are being played out with road rage, incompetent drivers and a lack of scenery. We can only go forward a few feet at time, the exits are jammed and all of the lanes are filled with drivers who imagine themselves racing in the Indy 500.
The High Road has been littered with good intentions. We have witnessed the vultures circling overhead waiting to seize upon their unsuspecting prey.
Greed and a hunger for power has transformed objectivity in our media, politicians, talk show hosts and unscrupulous businessmen to a flattened unrecognizable picture of humanity.
I can envision the High Road being repaired. Eager volunteers who actually roll their shirt sleeves up and fill in the potholes of corruption. They plant the flowers and trees of hope on the roadside. There are rest stops for the weary travelers and road signs provide encouragement and direction.
Traveling the High Road means that we don't have to rush or fret. There are no toll roads because we are debt-free. We have enough to share with our neighbor and the stranger on the street. It means that promises are kept and a handshake is as good as a signature.
Somewhere in the scheme of things, we have lost our way. Our words are caught on tape, our secrets are written in bestsellers, disease is rampant and thrill-seekers get the most camera time.
Is your High Road paved with sand or asphalt? Are the lines for traffic clearly marked or faded beyond recognition? Do you find yourself weaving in and out of traffic or crossing the center-line into oncoming traffic?
The repair of the High Road in your everyday life will become less bumpy if you choose to be kind, respectful, compassionate and selfless. All roads intersect at one point or another, but it is the smoothest road that is the most desirable to travel upon.
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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.