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To what lengths would you go?

Editor Lynn Jaynes Published on 26 September 2015
Tractor and baler

What lengths would you go to for a new baler? To have a little fun, I posted this question on an ag online forum. Assuming cash was not involved, and tongue-in-cheek, one Missouri producer said, “My wife, my kids and the dogs – well, maybe not the dogs.

“I figure they’d all probably return home in a couple of days anyway. And I’d have a new baler.”

A Georgia producer responded, “I’ve got an old nag that I would give up, and I’ll throw in a donkey to ‘sweeten’ the deal, if I have to. I’ll probably throw in a bag (or two) of sweet feed, and I’ll throw in a couple of bridles. Got a saddle I’ll throw in, too. Did I mention I’ll deliver them at no charge when I pick up the baler?” Then later he added, “What kind of baler we talkin’ about? Could possibly do a little more.”

Other producers chimed in with these responses:

“I’d eat a bug.”

“I’d eat a tuna sammich, and I’m not a fan of tuna.”

“I could offer up the wife’s chickens, a 2-year-old unbroken Percheron mule and an unused saddle.”

“I can’t think of anything I would give up to get rid of my old baler. I just couldn’t sleep at night knowing I wasn’t going to have to replace a bearing or replace a belt sometime during the season. That would just take all the fun out of it.”

“I’ll throw in all the weathermen also; they never got the forecast right anyway.”

Apparently new balers come pretty cheap these days.

In ebn magazine, they ran a survey of 1,005 adults, asking what lengths they would go to for their dream jobs; 71 percent of Americans said they would give up Facebook if it meant landing their dream job. (This is slightly stunning, isn’t it, that 29 percent wouldn’t?) And 65 percent of the survey respondents said they would give up sugary snacks and treats for a dream job, while 59 percent said they would give up their morning cup of coffee.

Makes you think, though, doesn’t it? What lengths would you go to for something you wanted – seriously? What lengths would you go to for true love? What lengths would you go to for freedom? What lengths would you go to for your customers? To what lengths would you go for a friend in need or to save a son or daughter?

When the goal desired is noble, we’re not hesitant to go to extremely great lengths and even call the pursuit heroic. (Go ahead, pat yourself on the back.)

But if the quest is only preferential or optional, something that would be nice but isn’t critical to our well-being, then all of a sudden we’re walking a fine line with our integrity.

To what lengths would you go, for instance, to watch your favorite football team or to win a new pickup? Would you try to cheat the system, just a little?

Or to slightly turn the question: What’s your integrity worth? At what point would you ‘cross the line,’ start keeping secrets about your actions and sacrifice your integrity to gain advantage?

Would you fudge the numbers on your taxes? Would you lie about your age to get a senior citizen discount? Would you use a cousin’s address to get in-state college tuition? Would you tell the officer you weren’t texting when you were?

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said, “In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don’t have the first one, the other two will kill you.”

To make that more personal, I say, “In looking in the mirror, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if you don’t see the first one, the other two don’t really matter.”  FG

Lynn Jaynes
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PHOTO: Staff photo.

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