A good friend once told me that if we spent the time we usually waist complaining on more productive pursuits, we would have less to complain about in the first place.
For some folks, whining is a way of life. But in my opinion, like baseball, there’s no crying in farming. There’s no time to cry or whine. There is only time to move forward. In our rural communities and on our farms, there are days that don’t go well. Things often seem like they are falling apart. Perhaps, there are even days when we might have a valid occasion to complain.
However, for most of us it does no good. And, it seems that we often complain about the silly, day-to-day annoyances, and fail to appreciate the big picture.
Complaining about falling grain prices does not put more profit in your pocket. Coming up with a strong marketing plan that allows you to capture profits as grain prices move up or rewarding strong price rallies with some grain sales are actions you can take that will actually improve your bottom line.
Complaining about the weather is a favorite past time for many of us on the farm. But it doesn’t change the outcome. Drawing up a drought grazing plan, identifying alternative forages, planting drought resistant crops or tiling wet fields would be better use of your time if extreme weather is a concern.
Breakdowns are common on the farm. We can whine about them when they happen, or we can be proactive and do regular maintenance on our farm machinery to prevent costly equipment failures.
Whining about treatment by a neighbor or complaining about negative comments from a friend at a ballgame or community meeting will not improve relationships. Small towns are too small for us not to get along. Making it a life mission to treat people fairly and with kindness and generosity will help ease tensions among friends, family members and neighbors in a way that counteracts any sort of complaining or whining.
We are living at a time when agriculture is of utmost importance in the world. We have mouths to feed and there is no time to waste in our work. For folks who grew up in the Dirty Thirties or during the Great Depression, we must seem quite spoiled. If there were any time in history when farm folks had a reason to complain, it had to be during that period. Yet, most folks I know who lived through those conditions do not complain about what happened. Instead, they tell their stories with pride because they came through those times tougher and stronger than ever.
There are times in life when we need a helping hand or when we need someone to give us a lift. There are times when we are stressed out and tired. The folks who were flooded out or dried out this past summer truly deserve our prayers, and our sympathy and help.
However, most of us should probably be thankful for the rural lives we enjoy and the relationships we hold dear. Certainly, these are not reasons to whine about, but are reasons to celebrate how fortunate we are in life.