Monday, October 19, 2015
The Last Frontier
My Other Half and I watch "Alaska, the Last Frontier" on a pretty regular basis. In case you've never seen it, it's the story of the Kilcher family who are the fourth generation to live off the land of their 600 acre homestead.
I've grown kind of weary of watching it, but there's not much else on TV, and my Other Half likes it, so, since the good viewing choices are few and far between on the vast wasteland called television, I get a snack and settle in and see what's happening. Here's the reason I tire of it; in my estimation, it's run it's course. They are always surprised when the weather turns bad, even though they've been there for 70 years - and IT'S ALASKA! They always wonder if they'll get their cattle moved to greener pasture in time, or safely. Their homes look like something that should be demolished, even though they are all multi-millionaires.....and so on, all typical TV complaints.
Last night was a surprise. The patriarch of the family (Atz) needed to herd and break in some horses. This was the one thing his adult son (Atz Lee) had the most fear of, and this was because of bad memories of doing it as a child. Atz would yell and scream directions, which cause his son to lose confidence and also caused the horses to become agitated, which caused further fear in his son. This is how Atz learned to do it from his own father. He knew nothing else, even though he too suffered from all the cussing, yelling and forceful behavior his own father demonstrated. Harsh, confidence breaking behavior was passed down through the generations.
Last nights program featured the breaking of that harmful cycle. Atz knew of his son's fear. He knew Atz Lee was totally lacking confidence and not only was fearful of the horses, but of failing his father. This 70 year old man was not to old to realize this, and implemented a change. He gently, lovingly and with kind words showed Atz Lee how to take care of the horses. The horses responded to speaking in a normal voice, faster then the old brute force method he formerly used. In doing so, he started the healing process between father and son, and started a new generation of kindness.
Are we a reflection of how we were raised? Most of us are, whether that's good or bad, it's all we know. If it's something that isn't beneficial, we can break that cycle. It isn't always easy, but it is possible, I saw it on this program last night, and this was the last place I expected to see it! The first step is to recognize if the words we speak are uplifting, instructional without being bossy and judgemental, kind instead of demeaning, and is the tone we use gentle or harsh. Yes....I'm learning every day as well. Even on my frontier! We all can.
By the way, I am once again a fan of Alaska the Last Frontier!
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.