To Be Human



To be human means to question whether or not we slept too long; whether it was lazy; whether or not beneficial for our health; or bad for it; whether acceptable, since it is only one day a week; whether it prevented us from getting more chores or work done the following day; whether it matters.
How much of that, I ask, is from cultural programming? Programming from half a century, in my case. Who gave us the line to tow?

The work ethic is alive and well in the field of agriculture. We have towed the line of industrial capitalism and “industrial agriculture” despite the oxymoron in that label. We have self-sacrificed and raced to prove our worth, relative to one another and relative to the machines that we built. The machines were built with promises of efficiency and more leisure time. That was the promise, as is the case with the promise of computer electronics.
We have deceived ourselves. We have moved faster and worked harder for an “end point” and a “big prize”, neither of which ever existed. Production agriculture was never value-based. We must now dig deep to find such life-affirming values within us; to understand our connection to the cycle of life that depends on rest and restoration for the sustainability of all that sustains us. Put another way, we must feed ourselves first, before we can sustainably feed others.
We are our own endpoints and the prizes are within us.  So take care. We are not machines, alas.

I have my own programming to revise.
I find myself asking if it’s okay to sleep in if I’m sick; if I’m exhausted; after making love the night before; if it’s during a cleanse; if it’s raining; if it’s the weekend and the big seasonal work is done; or for no freaking reason at all.  Seriously.
Why the guilt on a Sunday morning?
Is this yet another day I have stolen – as if someone else owns this life and must grant me permission for rest and repose?
It’s hard to shake the monkeys on our backs, whomever they might be.  They are crazy-making; like the jobs that restrict our freedom and creativity when we are being called to be more; to see more; to demonstrate more.
Stolen time is an interesting concept.
As if were were EVER tasked with an urgency and an imperative to accomplish earthly tasks to save our souls.  And yet the time concept gives us motivation to dig in and experience the friction that leads to change, development, enlightenment.
It’s complicated.  And yet it’s simple.
In fact, it is always both.
Our lives are intricately complicated. And yet they are simple.
Rest and sleep is indeed quite simple though.
Why can’t we let it be so?
The cows let it be that way.  So do our dogs. And certainly the cat understands.
The beasts let us know…….that WE are the ones who censor the love, abundance joy, comfort and yes, the rest, in our lives.

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Published by

Cate Brown

I have been a cattle woman my entire life. I am currently a cattle rancher in British Columbia Canada with my husband Phil. As part of my job here, I am also fortunate to work with - do the dance of life with - cattle and horses. I am a philosopher and a meditator in my quiet time and I love to write. I'm a prolific reader and a bit of a podcast junkie. I have earned my living in the cattle industry in both commercial and purebred sectors and have also been an agricultural and livestock journalist for publications across Canada for at least 35+ years. I am passionate about the cattle culture in which I currently work and live. I regularly contemplate our way of life and the ways we can improve our sustainability, relative to our relationship with our nature - Mother Nature. I champion low-stress livestock handling and women's increasing input on this landscape. This blog embodies one of my efforts to better connect with family, friends and colleagues in the cattle business. Beyond that, I hope to make our way of living and cattle production practices more transparent and to better connect our producers and consumers. It is also a joy to share my observations of animal psychology to help everyone better understand what motivates us and them. [ig: catebrown66 ]

5 thoughts on “To Be Human”

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