We watched him communicate to the cattle with whistles, shouts, and if needed, a stern push into the belligerent cattle with his well-mannered horse. He eventually rustled the dozen head of cattle and pushed them along. He was the only cowboy working in the field, and as I later found out, he happens to be 8 years old. He held his chest proud, even though he couldn't yet fill in his shirt. He was speaking volumes about dignity, leadership and a good work ethic, without ever uttering a word.
My father grew up on a farm and could have easily related with this young man. However, for most of us, days of "Living off the land" are in the past, and sadly, so too are these powerful images of self reliance, regardless of age.
Days later, and I still cannot shake this cowboy from my mind. Maybe he reminds me of what I love most about Latin America. Maybe he reminds me of how awesome my dad was. Or maybe he highlighted that some of our biggest barriers in life could be of our own creation. Regardless of inspiration, seeing this cowboy proves that virtual reality will never be as wonderful as unexpected, living outside your comfort zone, ultra reality.
|Cowboys are made, they are not born.|
|Bareback, without shoes, and 100% cowboy.|
|Moving the cattle|
|Leadership requires both knowledge and action and he had both in abundance.|
|Moving the cattle down the road to a neighboring pasture a half mile away.|