Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On The Mic

Late Thursday night - in time to miss the Angus show - the big bird in which I was snoozing touched down in Denver for the National Western Stock Show. After being one not there for more than a week, there was no place I'd rather be. I was fortunate to even make the brief trip; I daily thank God for selflesshard-working parents

Walks through the historic yards, spending a few hours with our beautiful nice Bayler, visiting on the Hill, shifting weight the in green cheap seats, dodging tourists throughout the barn, breakfast burritos, watching Cody judge the breed I adore,  laughing with Katie from Fancy In The Country, reconnecting with old friends and red beer. This summarizes my quick trip.

But looking past all of the events watched, places seen, ounces consumed or money spent, something really struck me during this particular visit to the Mile High. 

Whether or not I recognized a showman or judge in the ring, I listened intently to reasons given by each livestock judge. 
Soundly structured. 
Heavy muscled. 
Nicely balanced. 
But I was captivated by the closing remarks which each judge made just before they chose the champion animal. The winner of the 2015 National Western Stock Show. What an honor. 

Every judge that I watched thanked particular people out of their life who got them to the place in which they spoke from today: Credible enough to judge the The Super Bowl of Stock Shows, humble enough to accept with gratitude. 
In that moment, the appointed judge had the microphone and the attention of an entire international arena. What did they do with it?

They each - in length -  justified their selections, then very briefly gave credit where credit was due. 
One thanked his wife and boys for working so hard in Texas so he had the opportunity to travel to Denver. 
One thanked his parents back home - watching the show online - for raising him the in industry that would go on to fuel his burning professional passion.

One thanked stockman showing in the opposite ring; for it was the folks in the other breed that raised that particular judge. 
And I heard one thank his wife for everything she does at home. 
She heard his deep voice crack with emotion and that was enough 'thanks' for her.

Each of those individual closing remarks initiated a tennis ball in my throat and mental notes.

If I were given the opportunity to speak at an international level in front of an industry that has become a passion, who would I thank?

Who would I mention on the mic?

It had to be someone who 
ignited a fire
fueled a passion
was a quiet cheerleader
supported you despite your shortcomings
never stopped inspiring 
showed forgiveness
was patient
was open-minded

If you were given the microphone, 
who would you thank?

And, I'm not just speaking in livestock terms. 
a teacher
a mother
an enemy
an advisor
an executive
a father
a person you've never officially met
a competitor
a soul mate you hate
a manager
a sister
a severed friend
a stranger you need to find again. 

You may not have a microphone, but don't forget to thank those who influenced where you are today - in large part or as a silent motivator. 
Send a letter. 
Make a phone call. 
Shoot them a text. 
Shake their hand. 
Thank God you had time with them while they were around. 

Because you and I both know:
Where ever you are today,
you didn't get here alone. 

Thank you, Legacy Livestock Imaging and Bailey Core for the photos. 

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