Cowboy Wisdom for the Week

Saturday, July 26, 2014
by Patrick Dorinson

Who says Congress can’t work across the aisle to accomplish anything significant?

Why just last week the United States Senate brought to the floor a resolution co-sponsored by five Republicans and five Democrats and it passed unanimously.

Now you would think that something like that would attract the full attention of the media but it didn’t.

The resolution in question marked the tenth year that the Senate honored an American icon.

Senate Resolution 488 designated July 26th the National Day of the American Cowboy.

But rather than just passing resolutions saluting this American icon maybe they should take a few lessons from real cowboys and cowgirls on living and working together in the cowboy way.

Every time I get the opportunity to ride and work alongside ranching families, I come away humbled and with even greater respect for the hard work they do and how they come together as family and friends at critical times to get the work done.

And the work is never done.

As I was thinking about writing today’s wisdom I was reminded of a time a few years ago when I was up helping gather cattle at the OK Bar Ranch in Idaho owned by my good friends the Ellis Family.

It was the final day and we driving the last of the cows back to the ranch from the summer grazing ground.

The sun was setting and it was drizzling a might but we were almost done.

However there was this bull with a lame foreleg. It was going to be necessary to put him in a trailer to get him back to the ranch so he wouldn’t do any further damage to himself.

But that old boy was not happy one bit. In fact he was downright nasty.

But I guess if my foreleg was lame I wouldn’t be too cordial either.

The trailer was driven up and put into place so the cowboys could herd him inside.

Only this ornery old cuss wasn’t having any of it. He butted his head against the trailer and swung around pawed the ground and charged in short bursts of energy keeping the horses at a distance.

It was decided that they would have to rope him around the legs and head to get him in the trailer.

There was no discussion they just went about their work barely exchanging a few words as they got into position.

Then their loops flew through the air to rope his legs so they could immobilize him enough to maneuver him into the trailer.

The whole process took almost half an hour but they finally got him in and the gate was slammed shut. But that tough old bull kept banging the inside of the trailer with his massive body.  

I was in awe watching them work together. It was a real privilege.

And after they were done there weren’t any high fives or self-congratulatory pats on the back.

It had to be done and it was done.

I saw some wry smiles on the cowboy’s faces as they nodded to each other catching their breath and gathering up their loops. And after it was over they returned to the herd and we finished the job.

If Congress had been in charge of that gather that bull would never have been put in the trailer and he’d still be lame.

Because Congress would first have to have a hearing on what was the “root cause” of the bull’s problem.

Both parties would then take polls to find out how the voters felt about helping the bull.

Then they would fight over who would be in charge of the process. After arguing for a good while they would agree that an equal number of Republicans and Democrats would form the team to get the bull in the trailer.

They would then argue over what method to use to accomplish the job. But while they argued PETA and the Humane Society would weigh in and complain about animal cruelty and the bull’s rights.

It would then be agreed that they would need to study the issue further followed by more polling.

And then Congress would recess having not completed the task and the bull never gets the help it needs.

That’s where we are today.

We got the bull by the horns both abroad and at home and he’s ornery and unpredictable.

And no one in Washington knows how to take control get that bull in the trailer, calm him down and get him well.

Perhaps that’s because they spend more time in recess than they do actually working.

And perhaps it’s because they think by avoiding the nasty bull they won’t have to deal with him.

But avoiding the problems only means they will get worse and eventually they will have to be dealt with.

So here is your Cowboy Wisdom for the Week and it is for the Congress and President Obama.

“It’s the work not the clock that tells you when it’s quittin’ time”.

To Congress: Stop taking so many recesses put your butts in your chairs and fix what needs fixin’ and do what needs doin’.

To the President: Stop playing golf and going to fundraisers and roll up your sleeves and get to work.

And if you both do that you might just earn some grudging respect from the people.

If you don’t some of you should get your resumes ready because you will be out of a job come November.

Time to Cowboy Up!