I had a strange moment on Friday evening, and I’d like to share it with you. I was out country dancing, and had taken a break for a moment because I’d just done two really fast line dances in a row. As I caught my breath and watched the other dancers doing the two-step, I sang along with the music. This is when the weirdness occurred. I realized I was singing about farm equipment, and that I knew all the words. I thought about it a little more that evening, and I know the words to lots of songs about farm equipment.
I grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York. The state has plenty of rural regions, but the area I am from is not one of them. I’d never seen a combine or a grain elevator before I moved to Minnesota, and I certainly could not have told you what they were for. As I’ve learned to love country music, I’ve gotten even more familiar with these things. I think that’s great. I think that writers ought to know at least a little about a lot of things, and it’s interesting to hear the viewpoint of someone who has grown up with a different experience than your own. The song I was singing along with is called International Harvester, and it’s sung by Craig Morgan. It’s a great two-step song, and I think the lyrics are intriguing. The singer talks about how it feels to be driving down the highway at five miles per hour on his combine and have all the cars honking at him when he’s only trying to do his job.
I’d never thought about it from that perspective before. I’ve done a lot of driving on back roads, and I’ve gotten behind some of those slow-moving farm vehicles. I’ve also been stuck behind Amish buggies. I realized they couldn’t go any faster, but I never thought about how frustrating it must be to have angry drivers behind them. I love to have my world expanded like this. I can’t wait to see what next new perspective will cross my path. I’m keeping my eyes and ears open.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
146. When was the last time you were exposed to a new perspective on life? Seek one out. One idea is to page through specialty or trade magazines. You can learn a lot by seeing what others focus on.