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Be responsible. Close the gate

Monday, November 26, 2018

 Close the gate

Those who live in the country know how important it is to leave gates as you find them. If they are already open, they are usually meant to be left that way. If closed...

A gate carelessly attended to can have disastrous results.

I grew up on a farm and before I discovered motorbikes had a horse who had spent the first 14 years of life – before we bought her - in a circus. We never found out exactly what she did in the Circus, but besides having the ability to untie just about any knot you presented her with, that horse - Melba was her name - was a demon at opening gates.

So much so, we had to put locks on every gate that was meant to hold her. Serious locks impervious to any creature without ten fingers and a key.

One night I left her in a cattle yard but neglected to attach the dog clip we used to “Melba proof” the gate! Bad mistake. The next morning, we found she had opened three gates – two of which most humans had difficulty with – to get into a shed full of tons of grain. But the real gob-smacker was that she had gone a hundred yards out of her way to open yet another gate to the bull paddock, so they could share in the midnight feast.

The lucky thing was that while the animal gang- three prize Jersey bulls and a crazy horse - had partied hard, (the mess was unbelievable) they were obviously so excited about their midnight adventure that they did more frolicking than gorging. They could have killed themselves.

So the phrase ‘close the gate’ is about taking responsibility.

I often feel confronted with the necessity of teaching ourselves - and those in our care - to do things we’d prefer not bother with. Those things we’d rather have someone else do if we had our way. Those mundane things that bore, frustrate or challenge us - but which are essential components of a healthy, productive life. You know those things -  like doing our paperwork, making challenging phone calls, brushing our teeth, eating our veggies. Taking responsibility.

Those things we might dislike doing but know we really should – and feel great when they are done.

Like taking the time to tidy up after ourselves. To leave it as good as, or better than we found it.

This week "close the gate and keep it great".

Have a responsible week.
And reflect on how satisfying it feels to be a part of the solution.