The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "a proper manner to handle critics!"

Greetings to everyone in western Illinois. I'm a hope'n everyone enjoyed the somewhat better weather over the weekend and took in some of the fun events held in our area with family and friends.

There seems to be a whole lot of men folk traversein' out into their fields checkin' for fall harvest prospects. Some areas will be good and other areas will be a little disappointin.' Everone, it seems, gets their turn at both the good and the bad.

The boys and I took on some sharp criticism from Fess McGee and a couple others recently. Their first reaction was negative. But then I reminded them of two poems and nay even a third we had to memorize way back in the one room school days. I'll share them with youn's.

The first poem I shared with the boys is as follows:

I Know Something Good About You

Wouldn't this old world be better

If'n the folks we meet would say,

"I know something good about you!"

And then treat us just that way?

Wouldn't it be fine and dandy,

If'n each handclasp, warm and true,

Carried with it this assurance,

"I know something good about you!"

Wouldn't life be lots more happy

If'n the good that's in us all

Were the only things about us

That folk bothered to recall?

Wouldn't life be lots more happy

If'n we praised the good we see?

For there's such a lot of goodness

In the worst of you and me.

Wouldn't it be nice to practice

That fine way of thinking too;

You know something good about me

I know something good about you.

The second poem shared with the boys goes like this:


Boys, when malice starts to sneer

And envy would your worth defame,

Look back upon that earlier year

When there was none to praise or blame.

Be not discouraged or dismayed

Because at you some shafts are thrown-

The critic never draws his blade

Against the toiler who's unknown.

The spiteful tongues have nought to say

Against the person who never tries;

They keep their ridicule to slay

The form that has begun to rise.

When individuals with bitter hearts start

Belittling what you've tried to do,

Be not discouraged, but take heart.

At least you know they've heard of you.

Look back upon the silent years,

Then hear the scoffings with a smile;

None draws the malice and the sneers

Except the one who is worthwhile.

So when the voice of envy shrieks

And malice cries your faults aloud,

Remember that the critic who speaks

Has seen your head above the crowd.

After I shared those two poems, (the author of which I never knew), with the boys I gave them one last thought to dwell on, which if'n I recall correctly may be by Waterman:

If'n I Knew You

If'n I knew you and you knew me,

If each of us could clearly see,

And with an inner sight divine

The meaning of your heart and mine,

I think that we should differ less,

And clasp our hands in friendliness.

Our thoughts would pleasantly agree

If I knew you and you knew me.

If I knew you and you knew me

As each one knows himself to be,

We'd look each other in the face

And see therein a truer grace.

Life has so many woes,

So many thorns for every rose,

The way of things our hearts would see

If I knew you and you knew me.

The boys all agreed, even Bill Jones. They would try to cut those critics some slack and practice "The Walk"!

Many positive comments are come'n to the boys in appreciation of their stand against have'n a beer tent at the county fair and for bring'n it to everyone's attention. And deep gratitude has been expressed to the boys for take'n a stand on this improper activity around impressionable children.

Cheryl Geitner, Extension Educator, Youth and Family Life, pointed out in her August 17, 2010 news release entitled "Adults Play Significant Role in a Child's Career Development," that people and events have significant effects on children, even if those effects don't become apparent until much later in the child's life." She was referencing career choices and workforce preparation, however the negative influence of beer tent activities are just as valid in one's concern for their children.

Thank you, Cheryl, for your timely article, and it is good to know the official extension stance on beer tents by their official position regarding liquor, children, and workers usage.

In reflect'n, it's reassuring to know that many folk of our counties really are concerned about our youth and their future and setting a good example of how fun can be had without the use of mind altering alcohol and drugs.

The boys agreed, and we all visited about ways money could be raised to support these family events without reverting to the sale of alcohol around children.

"All it takes is for enough good people to do nothin' and the many many years of a wholesome quality family event is down the tubes and we'll be reading next about the failure of 4-H and extension," said Buster Jenks. "Not takin' a stand, is in affect take'n a stand.

With that thought, we all left thinking about what was at stake-our kids, grandkids, and future generations. We can't let that happen.

Deeply Concerned

Catch ya later

Barnyard Bruke