I love golf. Okay, let me rephrase that. Most days I like golf. Today was not a good golf day. My putter has gone wonky. Mind you, someone told me not to blame it on the club. All right then, what do I need? A therapist or golf lessons? Perhaps both. Forgive me while I vent. Seems since I was young I have enjoyed a game that many people cannot relate to. During the World Cup (soccer) I suggested to someone that soccer was a boring, mundane sport. They, in turn, suggested as a golfer I had no right to call soccer boring. Oh well. I recall back in an earlier life a bureaucrat say, at the end of a phone call, that he was going to a driving range that night and he was going to pretend my face was on every ball. Made me realize that the conversation had probably become “passionate”. Becoming passionate about certain issues is me. When I get hold of something I firmly believe in I cannot let go and, yes, my passion can get me in trouble.
Passion is something we as farmers experience on a daily basis. We are passionate about the jobs we do. We are connected to the soil. We care about the animals we raise. But it is easy to lose that passion when year in and year out we struggle to make ends meet. I recall going to the barn thinking, there is enough production here to feed a small city and yet I was having a tough time feeding myself. Some passion is good and helps us survive while other times passion can get us in a lot of trouble. At times we need to self examine our emotions to ensure that are passions are channeled in the right direction.
Getting back to golf. In a presentation I did some time ago I compared farming to golf. Hear me out here. Golf is not a game of great shots. It is a game of the most accurate misses. The people who win make the smallest mistakes. We hope for something great. Is that not like farming? We also hope for a bumper crop and good prices. Or for good livestock prices and cheap feed prices. Wait a minute. How can we have good grain prices and cheap feed prices at the same time? So to survive we have to ensure that when we “miss” we don’t miss by too much. Ensure that our mistakes are as minimal as possible. And just like golf, farming is a “compromise between what your ego wants you to do, what experience tells you to do and what your nerves let you do”. Adds a different perspective, doesn’t it?
P.S. A golfing friend gave me a tip on how to putt better. Tried it, practiced it and improved my score. That often happens with life experiences as well. Talk to someone, listen to others and who knows, you might just get some help in improving life. It’s worth a try. Make it a good one.