Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

The Big Picture

 A couple of months ago while eating lunch in a  Lake Norman restaraunt, a couple of ladies sitting beside me started ranting with each other about the shortcomings of the region.  Their conversation segued into school and transportation issues and before long it was a full fledged gripe session.  There were several instances I wanted to jump into their conversation and point out how fortunate they really were.  However, I bit my tongue and did my best to ignore the negativity beside me.  It did however remind me of something I learned long ago.

gardenAs I have written many times, when I was a very young lad my Granddaddy Russell allowed me to “help” him in his garden in Rock Hill.  More often than not, I was probably more of a nuisance than a helper.  Granddaddy could work from sunrise to sundown with a mere water break in between.  I remember one particular hot Saturday afternoon that I whined about how long we were working, just why did we have to pull out the small weeds growing next to the corn, and why did we have to hoe everything when we could probably just use the tiller between the rows?

Granddaddy took a break, removing his glove, and wiping his bare hand across his brow – ever the sure sign he’d had enough complaining.  “Billy”, he said.  “Did I ever tell you the story about Mr. Johnson’s hunting dog up the street?”  Now let me stop right here and say that Granddaddy himself was an avid hunter.  He had a brown dog named Browney and a white dog named Whitey.  Granddaddy was never very creative when it came to naming dogs.     “Well Mr. Johnson had an old black lab named “Blackey”.  One day while hunting, Johnson shot a quail which landed in the pond.  Blackey proceeded to skip across the water and retrieved the bird.  Johnson couldn’t believe his eyes that the dog ran across the water.  Thinking no one would possibly believe his dog could walk on water, he invited Mr. Hagler to go hunting the next day.

Again, Mr. Johnson shot and killed a quail and once again it landed in the water.  And like before, old Blackey ran across the water and retrieved the bird.  Johnson asked Hagler, “Did you see that?”  “Sure did,” replied Hagler.  “Well what do you think?”, he inquired.  “Well,” said Hagler, “I don’t think your dog knows how to swim.”    Sometimes people just don’t get the point.   They don’t see the big picture.  While we may have challenges to our schools and roads because of growth – the picture is our area is growing.  When regions are losing jobs and have empty store fronts – we enjoy a vibrant and growing region.  We have the good fortune of living in a great community.  A community adding new families and businesses everyday because they realize what some of our residents seem to have forgotten – Lake Norman is a great place to work and live.Bird dog

I remember trying to mull over his lesson that day as he continued to work me ‘till the sun went down.  However, as much as I disliked all the hard work, the red ripe tomatoes, big ears of corn, and cool crisp bites of watermelon later that summer reminded me that all the hard work paid off.  People can sweat the small stuff or they can see the big picture.  It’s all up to you.

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Leadership Lessons | , , , , | Leave a comment