Growing up I was a rancher’s daughter. I was actively involved in 4-H having received many showing honors and awards. Just like so many things in life, it really came down to working harder and smarter than everyone else. There may have been a few people close but consistently over the years no one matched our family. I don’t say this to brag but rather to make a point.
I was blessed to have had a father who was exceptional in the cattle business but he too got there through hard work and perseverance. When things got a little difficult he would say to us (my two sisters and me), “When the going gets tough…the tough get going!” That became code for “No time to feel bad, gather the troops, let’s get back to work.”
It is often interesting to me to think about what we consider tough times. I think of the cold, windy, Nebraska winter nights when my father was out with cows that were giving birth, wind-chill below zero, doing everything possible to make sure that baby calf lived and didn’t lose it ears to freezing.
Then I think about those individuals that made their way across the Great Plains, settling new land, making a start from scratch, dealing with illness, disease, the elements and hostile natives.
Today, tough could be the conditions of a young person in the ghetto with a drug addicted mother, gang shootings every night and little to no food on the table.
A little closer to home for many of us today is the family that has come into a rough patch where mom or dad has been laid off and doesn’t quite know how the mortgage and car payment are going to be paid.
Indeed all of these are tough. Some might argue which one is tougher. That’s not the point.
The point is we all have had a time or two (or more) when things for us have been tough. We’re also likely to have them again. Please know you’re in good company (Joseph and Moses happen to come to mind) and always remember “When the Going Gets Tough…The Tough Get Going.”
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POST SCRIPT: It never ceases to amaze me how things tie together. The day of the writing of this message, my father was named to the Nebraska Cattlemen “Hall of Fame”; the highest honor they give to an individual. As a biased daughter I must say “We’ll done and well deserved Dad!” Thanks for the lessons.