The Big Picture by J.T. Korkow: The curse of the “Jack of all Trades”
As many people in my generation witness the changes in our country and in younger attitudes, I thought a bit on where we all come from in our complex society today, and where we have ended up.
Looking back, I have to admire those people who grew up knowing exactly what they wanted to be or what they wanted to do in their life. It was easy for them to make decisions in their life to pursue that one goal and be the best at that one thing they pursued, whether it was to be a rodeo champion, a ball player, race car driver, singer, or stock investor. Truly successful people in life are said to persevere in accomplishing their goal and never giving up, always keeping their “eye on the ball.” These gifted individuals work overtime hours and sacrifice many pleasures in life to accomplish their goals and eventually realize a measure of success. They posses a disciplined mind and persistent character. Obviously, I wasn’t one of these people.
Another group of people I found is the bulk of humanity that drift where life takes them…usually not far from where they grew up, just doing whatever it takes to live a comfortable life. They found themselves sticking close to their roots and perhaps working in a wage-earning job they learn to be satisfied with for the pay and benefits. Or, perhaps they stayed within the family circle and continued the family business, maintaining and building on their previous generation’s success. These folks raise their families in a traditional style and enjoy their relatively stress free lives, not trying to draw attention to themselves in any way, yet satisfied with life for the most part. Unfortunately, I didn’t fit in with this group either.
Then there is the rest of us that have rambled through life with a sense of adventure and desire to experience all there is one can experience in a lifetime. We are many times referred to as a “jack of all trades,” with the caveat that is apparently so true… “master of none!” While we have enjoyed always learning and experiencing new things, we “Jacks” have a tendency to get bored after a while if we are not challenged. Our days get filled with an assortment of activities, sometimes plaguing us with making a decision as to what is a priority and what is not. Because we spend most of our money investing in new ventures, we tend to stick it out on that venture until we find some measure of success that provides our “fix,” then look for something else new to pursue.
While I enjoyed this past year of being a rancher, I can reflect back on my experience and say it provided for a great challenge, to say the least. After initial calving difficulty, a short hay crop, stolen calves, and now riding the market down for two months, I can say I found little success in my venture and will strive to do better next year. In putting together my strategy for next year, I am contemplating that if I work many overtime hours and sacrifice many pleasures in life in addition to possessing a disciplined mind…well, I might just realize a measure of success as a rancher! And if I don’t see progress in my venture, I guess I may have to go back to truck driving, politics, or banking!
Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the July 24, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News