Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “life is precious”

Cowboy Up

In the West, there is an admonition that means one ought to be tough.  The phrase is this:  “Cowboy up!”  It is used to encourage.

For example, if a cowboy is complaining about having to do something difficult, another cowboy would likely say, “Cowboy up.”  It means to face what you need to face.  It means to do what you need to do.  It means the same as another catch phrase, one formerly used in Nike ads, “Just do it.”  I am guessing the derivation might be about getting up on a horse that is likely to buck.  (Mount up and be ready for a ride, i.e., Cowboy up).

You do not have to be a cowboy in order to cowboy up.  A non-cowboy can be tough.  A non-cowboy might figuratively have to endure a rough ride of one kind of another.

For two examples, I will tell you about my Uncle Luke and about my Friend Bill.  They each have faced something more difficult than anything that I have faced  — A.L.S., also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.    Talk about tough men!

Recently, I spoke separately to two young men who had threatened suicide.  I did not tell them to cowboy up. That is not always therapeutic.  I listened to the hopelessness they felt about life circumstances.   I also encouraged them, or tried to, by telling them about the courage of Uncle Luke and Friend Bill,  facing A.L.S., and how those tough men have inspired me.   I agreed that life can be difficult, but reminded them that life is precious too.  Too precious to throw away.

That realization, that life is precious, is the reason to cowboy up.

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Life Can Change In An Instant

I was sad to hear of health scares for two of my favorite NFL coaches.

Denver Broncos coach John Fox, while playing golf during the bye week, suffered from symptoms indicating heart trouble, was hospitalized, and is scheduled for surgery tomorrow.

Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak collapsed during the game with the Colts yesterday and was carted off.  It turned out he had a mini-stroke at age 52.

From what I have heard, neither man suffered an actual heart attack so these episodes provided warnings to get appropriate treatment.

In 2001, my father had a serious stroke as he bent over me when I was changing a flat tire in the parking lot of my law office.  Earlier in the week he had played tennis.

Life can be tough.  Life can be fragile.  Life can change in an instant.  Life is precious.

Robert Redford’s Wyoming cowboy character in the movie, An Unfinished Life, says something that fits.  He said it in a different context than the situations for John Fox, Gary Kubiak, and my Dad.  He was at a restaurant and intervened to protect a waitress who was being harassed by two drunks.  He dumped a coffee pot on one and grabbed a knife that he held against the throat of the other.  He said:  “See how fast things can change?”

We have all seen how fast things can change.  We have seen floods, fires, and tornadoes here in Colorado, which have caused people to lose their homes and, in some cases, their lives.

As a lawyer, I represent many people injured in automobile accidents.  Sometimes I handle death cases.  Traffic crashes happen quickly.  Life changes in an instant.

We never know how long we have on this earth or how our health will be while we are here.  I suppose that is why it is good advice to live each day as your last.

For however long we have, it is comforting to know that the Lord is with us.  The hairs of our heads are numbered (some numbers are bigger than others), He knows when a sparrow falls from a tree (and when an NFL coach collapses on national TV), and lo, He is with us always.

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