Tuesday, July 5, 2011


A number of years ago I read an article in the New York Times about a wild Mustang round-up out west. It was a well written article about the history of the Mustangs and why the round-up was necessary and who was doing it.

The final paragraph talked about a wrangler who was at the end of the drive to bring the horses into a corral on the prairie. The reporter asked the wrangler what he did for the drive and his simple, laconic answer was, " Mostly I close the gate".

I've never forgotten that story for it was profound in its every-day-ness for most of us. Sure, some people have high profile jobs as executives, lawyers, doctors and successful businessmen and women. Many others are retired from those kind of positions, and others are aspiring to that elusive point of personal success, but when it comes down to it, on a day to day basis, what we all mostly do is close the gate.

When you close your computer down for the day and head home, mostly you close the gate.

When you lock up the house at night for a few short hours of rest, mostly you close the gate.

When you say goodnight or goodbye to your friends and colleagues for the day or even for a time of extended parting, mostly you close the gate. It's a mind corral in which to keep your thoughts and hopes and wishes and even worries until you have a chance to open the gate again.

What is perfect in the singular acknowledgement of "closing the gate" is its simplicity. There are no pretenses, no bragging, no social positioning, or aggrandizement of the egoic self, just the truth. I would love that kind of veracity from all of us, but especially from those in Congress.

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