Jul 06, 2015 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

We are sent here to this planet to make a difference – I always felt it. Now I know it. We are given essential tools and talents and it is our job to make something of what we have. And what do we have?

Eyes to see; ears to hear; a brain to think; arms and hands to work; legs to get us where we are meant to go. I was born and raised in an able-bodied world – and there I would excel. Or so I thought.

In my world, a man’s worth was measured by what he could do – especially physically. A real man got up early, worked hard all day, and went to bed tired but happy, because of all he accomplished. A real man was the provider and protector. A real man was ‘the man.’

That was my attitude, and it seemed to pay off. Championship trophies and business accomplishments measured our worth – taught us discipline and goal orientation. I was tough. Ambitious. My life was laid out before me, clear and straight. Or so I thought.

I grew up and married my high school sweetheart. I honored my family traditions and values. My dad taught me to work hard. Take care of your family. Be the man. No nonsense.

I invested in an Elk ranch and built a successful landscaping business. As I had looked to my father in my younger days, two dozen employees, and another dozen seasonal workers now looked to me for leadership. I worked as hard as my men did. I never asked anything of them that I couldn’t or wouldn’t do myself – or hadn’t already done.

My wife, Shondell, stayed home and managed the house with order and efficiency, and raised our children. I worked from dawn to dusk, providing for them all. I was my children’s protector, my lady’s hero. That is what life is all about. Or so I thought.

That was my world. My family needed me. They depended on me – I depended on myself. I was tough and independent. That worked, not just for me, but also for my family. That is what I believed. That was my attitude. That was the way it was. Or so I thought.

God evidently thought differently because it changed – a bale of hay had to fall on my head to do it, but my life changed – and then, I changed. Attitudes and assumptions where challenged; belief and behavior changed; I learned a lot about who depends on who and what is really important in life.

You’ve heard my story. Don’t stop there. Go DO something about something. Get something DOne. Make a difference. If you’re already doing something about something, good for you – you didn’t wait for a bale of hay to land on your head!