It’s amazing what can come up in conversations over a pen of cattle and in a late evening dinner with old friends at Empire Farm Days – setting children on the right track for a successful life.
At the cattle pen, “I didn’t know you were into breeding beef cattle,” I queried a western New York farm wife.
And she replied: “When our kids came along, keeping them busy with sports, activities, 4-H and showing cattle was the best way to keep them too busy for drugs, sex and other things. That’s why we’re raising beef cattle.”
Later, at the dinner table, a man who spent close to 40 years on the county fair board pleaded with a younger father that I work with: “Bring your boy our county fair. Give him a taste of agriculture – the cattle, goats, pigs, the tractor pulls. My boy was six years old, and we’ve never missed a fair.”
That’s when his son “caught fire” and his father’s lust for life and enthusiasm for agriculture, he added. But there was more to it: The father openly shared his enthusiasm and many of those defining moments with his son.
Optimism is infectious
These “Life 101” moments with Dad or Mom or both are what define young lives. When parents teach with love, zeal and shared interest, their children are in the world’s best classroom with the most capable teachers. And when grandparents do the same . . . wow! It's the ultimate of living and learning!
How soon do you start? As soon as you get done reading this. It’s never too early. But it can be too late. So start today! Ramp up your enthusiasm and hopes for their future!
Chances are good that you’ll also improve your own outlook. Missing this opportunity will only ensure a life of regret.
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