Sunday, December 25, 2016

Cross Generational Friendship

Then there was an old man
wise and kind with age
he could read me like a book
and he never missed a page
and I loved him like my father
and I loved him like my friend--

Gram Parson's "In My Hour Of Darkness"

Our program has generated a lot spin off benefits that could have never been anticipated when we began. Some have been utterly unpredictable. One of the most rewarding of such benefits that occurs is the existence of cross-generational friendships.

This one I take a bit of the credit for. I expect my riders to be responsible and mature. That is easier for some than others, but I have always been very respectful of the ideas of those who throw their heart into the program.

That  has helped to bring out the best in many of these young people. I was once asked if I was concerned that the young women that I referred to as my "big girls" might be offended by that characterization.

I have never had the slightest concern about that. Though we have never discussed the matter, they each know that I have no higher term of respect for anyone then to call them one of my big girls. My big girls understand what we do, why we do it, how it must be done, and why it matters.

Years ago at a blm auction a tv news crew was so surprised at watching how much I deferred to Lydia's judgement in deciding which horses to get that they followed us around with the camera and filmed her decision making process--doubt if she was old enough to drive then.

Throw into the mix the fact that we have completely inexperienced adults join our program who rely on the expertise of my big girls and the walls that separate the generations in our world are breached.

Are you following me here? This creates a unique atmosphere of cross mentorship--life experience of one--energy and knowledge of the other--each learning from the other--each enjoying the company of the other.

And it is wonderful.  Not everyone has a child--not everyone has both parents--but everyone needs a friend and finding one is a great thing.

No comments: