Weatherford Democrat

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December 8, 2013

NOW HEAR THIS: Laying off the straightest row

By LARRY M. JONES

Whatever the challenge, wherever the task at hand, I find it refreshing to see people doing their absolute best to ensure a job done well. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a brain surgeon or a garbage truck driver, there can still be pride in one’s work ethic.

Over the past few months, my wife Helen and I have enjoyed watching the mini-series Downton Abbey on television. Today’s wasteland of reality programming seems to see which show can be dumbed down to the lowest possible level. It has been refreshing to see a quality show such as Downton Abbey. For those of you unfamiliar with the mini-series, it is set in the World War I and post-war era. The story revolves around an aristocratic British family living in a stately country manor with a huge staff of servants.

From Lord Robert on down to the most menial laborer, each tier within the social structure comes with its own set of obstacles and goals. For the most part, each member tries to be the best possible within given constraints. Sadly, here in America far too many tend to favor entitlement over personal effort.

Being heir to the title of “dirt farmer,” over the years, I have been witness to very diverse methodology used in farming. Even when it was possible to be a successful farmer in Parker County, this was achieved only through backbreaking work, long hours, favorable weather, and perhaps the most important, confidence and pride in one’s effort. The farmer, not unlike any other entrepreneur, can never be guaranteed success, but if the task is highest priority, success is certainly more likely.

My brother, David, was one such farmer that gave his best during each crop year. Innovation in seeking new and improved techniques was always a part of the equation, but care in land preparation, planting, cultivation, and harvesting played the larger role – always attention to each and every detail.

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