Responsibility Lessons

Responsibility Lessons From Desert Pete (EP.85)

In Brother's Keeper, Delayed Gratification, Personal Responsibillity, Podcast by Will Luden4 Comments

Summary

Everywhere we look, life is full of lessons, often in places where we are not turned into receiving the wisdom. An example of this “Everyday Wisdom™” is found at the exits from rental car parking lots, “Do not back up; severe tire damage.” In other words, keep going forward, or suffer the consequences.

Today we are going to look at the wisdom found in an equally unlikely place, a song I heard sung by The Kingston Trio, Desert Pete. The ballad tells the story of a very thirsty cowboy who is crossing the desert and finds a hand pump. Next to it, Desert Pete has left a note urging the reader not to drink from the jar hidden there, but to use its contents to prime the pump. Despite his thirst, the cowboy resists the temptation to drink and uses the water as the note instructs. He is rewarded with an abundance of cold, satisfying water. Had he not acted in faith, responsibly, he would have had only a small jar of unsatisfying, warm water to drink. And he would have made it impossible for any others to have primed the pump and been able to receive needed water.

For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack how taking responsibility for others is an integral part of taking personal responsibility.

Transcript

Everywhere we look, life is full of lessons, often in places where we are not tuned into receiving the wisdom. An example of this “Everyday Wisdom”™ is found at the exits from rental car parking lots, “Do not back up; severe tire damage.” says the sign. In other words, keep going forward, or suffer the consequences.

Today we are going to look at the wisdom found in an equally unlikely place, a song I heard sung by The Kingston Trio, Desert Pete. The ballad tells the story of a very thirsty cowboy who is crossing the desert and finds a hand pump. Next to it, Desert Pete has left a note urging the reader not to drink from the jar hidden there, but to use its contents to prime the pump. Despite his thirst, the cowboy resists the temptation to drink and uses the water as the note instructs. He is rewarded with an abundance of cold, satisfying water. Had he not acted having faith in the note, acted responsibly, he would have had only a small jar of unsatisfying, warm water to drink. And he would have made it impossible for any others to have primed the pump and been able to receive needed water.

For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack how taking responsibility for others is an integral part of taking personal responsibility.

To start with, let’s look again at the two main tenets that we believe in at Results With Reason:

  1. Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. Be patient with each other; when people truly need a hand up and not a hand out, be there. Teach and encourage; don’t criticize and reject. Love and lead. Remember, we are all in this together.

There are many core principles that we hold to be true at Results With Reason, and these are the two main, the greatest, if you will, principles. The Bible has many principles that it puts forth in its 1,200 pages. Specifically, there is a list of Ten Commandments in the Old testament, and many Bibles have everything that Jesus said in red. But it was Jesus himself who said that there are two principles, commandments, that are the greatest, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I make no claim to be sharing podcasts that are in any way equal in importance and lasting significance to the principles found in the Bible and many other lasting texts. However, I claim that everything in Results With reason hangs upon our two main tenets–repeated here for emphasis:

  1. Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. Be patient with each other; when people truly need a hand up and not a hand out, be there. Teach and encourage; don’t criticize and reject. Love and lead. Remember, we are all in this together.

The thirsty cowboy in our story clearly did the right thing for himself and others when he practiced both faith in a note that he found, and delayed gratification. Note that there was no sacrifice on his part; his display of personal responsibility in delaying his gratification led directly to both his having abundant cool water, and to his being his Brother’s Keeper by leaving water to prime the pump for those thirsty travelers who would follow.

Today’s key lesson: Being our Brother’s Keeper does not involve sacrifice. It may very well involve delayed gratification, but when we come through for others as Keepers, our Brother’s and Sister’s Keepers, we get far more back than we give. And that’s not sacrifice. I can tell you from my own experience, that every time I give, truly give expecting nothing in return, I get back far more than I gave. It may not be immediate, but it always happens. And if we give expecting something in return, we are not being  Keepers, we are involved in a transaction. There is nothing wrong with transactions; we are involved in them every day when we go to the store, see a movie, go to a restaurant, or buy something online, but transactions are not examples of being Keepers. Only giving without expecting is.

Think about some of the times when you have truly given without expecting anything in return. And think about the times that others have given to you in that way. Then share those experiences with us on Results With Reason. And please do add your thoughts about whether or not you got back more than you gave. And for those experiences where you were the one given, was the gift, the experience, fuller and richer because it was given with nothing expected in return? Did it make a difference to you in either case that gifts, not transactions, were at the core of what was going on?

Random note; Today is December 7th, 2018, the 77th anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor,n launching our entry into WWII. At that time and for years after, there were cries of, “Never forget!” Just as there were about the Holocaust and 9/11, and many other tragic events in our history. Is it wrong that we have forgotten those events and those lessons, or is good for us to heal and forget?

Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice personal responsibility and be our Brother’s Keeper. Let’s demand that our politicians and other leaders do both as well. Imagine for a moment if all of us, including our politicians and other leaders did both. Let’s picture that world together, and think about how to make it happen. Remember, Revolution 2.0™ is coming. Please stand by…

Links and References

Desert Pete
Am I my Brother’s Keeper?

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do reach out with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind.  You can email me at will@resultswithreason.com, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Frequency

I host two podcasts each week; mid-day on Tuesday and Friday. Every week. I am also considering doing these as videos on YouTube, and would love to get your thoughts.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

Will Luden
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Will Luden

As an author, speaker, public company board chair, family man, a man with many friends (and friends-to-be), citizen and a child of God, I am driven to contribute. One way to for me to contribute is to start thought-provoking discussions.My overall objective is to stimulate “Passionate, Relentless, Reasoning.” My specific goals include getting people to act (only) after Reasoning.
Will Luden
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Comments

  1. Ah yes, the tune popped into my head immediately. The song’s too old for even the oldies stations I listen to. Key point: You have to have faith in something you can’t even see!
    As for unexpected returns, I’ve found that my Meals on Wheels deliveries and Road to Recovery cancer treatment rides have resulted in many new friends and acquaintances, some care givers and some care receivers.

  2. As always you inspire me to make better choices in my life. And, to be a better person.

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