* Courtesy of SDP Buffalo Ranch

Industry Insider: America The Beautiful

Today’s blog entry is being typed less than twenty-four hours from the saddest thing I have ever seen in my 40 years of being an American.

The riotous, insurrectionist, vile mob and dare I say treasonous few that stormed the United States Capital building, breaking windows, taking selfies in the House Chamber, posing next to statues of real patriots who built this great nation, ransacking elected officials’ offices, fighting with Capital Police – truly had me tied up in knots with what I saw happening in real time.

What a sad day for America. What a sad day for Western civilization. The enemies of liberty both foreign and domestic, I am sure could hardly stand themselves with the glee they were seeing.

I love the flag. What it symbolizes. I think of myself as a patriot. “Live free or die,” gives me goosebumps just to think about it. You know what? Pretty sure there was a bunch of folks in that mob who would say the same. Just makes me sick. Who is the hypocrite?

Just how far have we fallen as a people? What must happen for us to see each other as Americans first, rather than our opposition? Could this be our rock bottom or are we going to descend further into hate and chaos?

2020 was…. Was what? A terrible year? A great year? I bet if you really thought about it, took the time to do a T Account exercise and wrote down the pros vs. cons, you’d come out ahead. Why do I think that? Well, for starters, you are reading this blog, which has absolutely no necessity at all. The sure fact that you have the ability and time to read this, you my friend are blessed beyond measure.

I’m in the horse business. You are reading this because you, too, are in the business or it’s your passion, hobby, dream, etc. The types of horses I am associated with are bred and raised specifically for sport. They get treated like gold, because to us horsemen they are our gold. But let’s get real. These horses aren’t necessary. Neither are ski boats, ATVs, golf courses, sports, Hollywood movies, Disneyland, vacation homes or ice cream. Well, maybe ice cream is. But you get the point. This is all about lifestyle, not life. BIG difference. And those that are in the lifestyle game, for a lot of people 2020 was a banner year.

You could have literally blown me away with a feather when Wolf Livestock purchased Hip 1060 at the Western Bloodstock 2-Year-Old Sale at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity for $1,050,000 from Wes & Lindy Ashlock last month, December 2020. Congratulations to all involved by the way, Austin Shepard included. But that is one million fifty thousand dollars FOR A 2-YEAR-OLD! What is a horse worth? Some, a lot!

I can name one hundred other metrics which show a strong and vibrant America. Am I happy about everything? Of course not. We recently went through national, state and local elections. Oh, you didn’t know that? You may go back to living under your rock. Did your guy or gal win? If so, good for you. All your problems will magically wash away as they take their oath of office, get handed their Harry Potter wand and make all your dreams come true. Not all idols are wood, stone or metal. Some are flesh and blood. Some are green with $ signs and images of dead presidents. Some are figments of our imaginations or even political parties.

I have been mocked a lot for my beliefs. I’ve grown quite comfortable in my skin with who I am, where I came from and what I am doing. I am what I am and I am never settled with any of it. I can always be more and better —  I want to be part of that meek not weak. The day I get comfortable with my lot, I hope it is when I am placed six feet under. For me, it is God, family, country — in that order.

There is a record, I believe it to be true. Some pretty spectacular things happened in that record. Either one great story like “Lord of the Rings” or historical fact. One part of the record states, about two thousand years ago – the people of this land, on the American continent, came together in unity, love and respect to have total and complete peace. 

“They had all things common among them, therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free…,” the Book of Mormon reads. “There was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people…” “Surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” 

And this is my main reasoning for sharing all this: these people of old, they were all different. Just like it is today. There were different races, ethnic backgrounds, social and economic levels, but they chose to unite. They chose not to divide, there were no “-ites” amongst them. “they were…one.”

I’m not preaching, I believe what I believe and I respect you to do the same. But what I am “preaching” is we unite as Americans. Let there be no “-ites” amongst us. Remember how we thought of each other after 9/11? What a glorious time of brotherly love that was. And to think, that was just shy of twenty years ago. 

I love what Franklin Graham, son of the legendary Billy Graham, wrote on his Facebook page on Jan. 7.

“The division in our country is as great as any time since the Civil War. I am calling on Christians to unite our hearts together in prayer for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and for the leadership in both parties,” Graham wrote. “Pray that everyone will stop the finger-pointing and realize that both parties bear responsibility for the problems we face today. Pray that they will come together and work together for the good of all of the American people.” 

Yes, sir! I will do it.

I titled my blog today, “America the Beautiful.” I did so because I believe this piece to be truly inspired. Every word of it. Penned by Katharine Lee Bates, the 1911 version is the one we know today. Learn all about it from this link.

So yesterday was bad. Today was better. The craziness that the world saw yesterday, I hope it also noticed that America got right back on the horse and went to work today. An election was ratified. The stock market went up. Mares had foals. Horses were trained. The world keeps spinning. Let us unite. Let us love our country. I have work to do and so do you. God bless America. I end my blog with the last stanza of that great hymn, “America the Beautiful.” Read it, sing it, live it. Let it be done.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!