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Two kinds of people

Agriculture.com Staff 04/09/2008 @ 11:34am

Ever notice how there seems to be a consensus that the world is made up of two kinds of people? Winners and losers, the quick and dead, tortoise and hares...you get the drift.

I've been thinking about this lately and I've come up with my own two groups.

Those who do things and those who complain.

I know a guy who's on the city council of a very small town. Small enough so that when there's problems with the city water system, he gets a call, and instead of calling the maintenance department (which doesn't exist), he gets up himself and goes down to the well to try and figure out the problem.

Personally, I hate water problems. Everything's underground, you've got hundreds of feet of pipe, pressure tanks, switches, valves -- all of it important and any of it capable of malfunctioning. Plus, of course, there's the pleasure of diagnosing electrical problems while standing in ankle deep water. But, if the folks in town don't have any water, what are you going to do? Two choices -- you can skip work and try to muddle your way through the problem, or you can sit in a booth, drink large amounts of beer or coffee (depending on where the booth is located), and talk about how the people on the city council don't know what they're doing.

When I was a kid, I would read books about famous adventurers. Guys who would go to the source of the Nile or the Amazon, hire a local guide, build a boat, and have all sorts of adventures on their way downstream. I've always thought that most adventures are the result of poor planning and I wondered just how these trips could get so fouled up. I mean, they're in a boat; all they have to do is float downstream until they hit the ocean. How complicated is that?

But then I thought about it a little more. I live near the headwaters of the Minnesota River, where you could get in a boat and sooner or later end up in New Orleans. Now, if you were an adventurer trying to make a National Geographic special and you came to my town and started looking for a guide, there would be a limited pool of people available. Think about your town. Make a list of the people who:

A. Always have an opinion about how to do things.
B. No one would miss if they were gone for six months.

See what I mean? I bet a few names came to mind. And I also bet you wouldn't trust them to guide you across the street, let alone anything of more substance. Those people you wouldn't trust to tell you which way is downstream are the same ones who feel free to criticize, complain, and critique the people who muddle through, trying to keep the water running and the lights on.

Oh well. Life goes on. My friend got the water fixed and the guys on the bar stools get to find something else to complain about. Some things never change.

Although, I have to admit, I do have a list of people I'd like to see in a canoe, headed for New Orleans.

Copyright 2008 Brent Olson

Ever notice how there seems to be a consensus that the world is made up of two kinds of people? Winners and losers, the quick and dead, tortoise and hares...you get the drift.

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